Chinese folk music livens up Lunar New Year atmosphere in Washington

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A well-designed concert featuring Chinese folk music charmed an audience of over 2,000 people at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington on Wednesday night.

The performance is seen as a cornerstone event of the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year celebration in Washington.

The over-80-minute show, presented by the visiting Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, consisted of eight compositions of Chinese music with a contemporary style, with each piece highlighting the performance of one or multiple traditional Chinese instruments, including erhu, or known as the Chinese violin, bamboo flute or zither.

"I thought it's very incredible, a very moving combination of modern and traditional music," Katrina Castner, a spectator who works in the U.S. government, told Xinhua after the show.

Admitting that she cannot recognize all the instruments, Castner said she could feel the Chinese history hidden behind the music.

The compositions include Spirit of Chinese Calligraphy, Dancing Phoenix and Whispers of Wind and Birds, an atmospheric piece composed by the renowned composer Tan Dun, which spans the boundaries of classical music and multimedia performance.

"We'd like to present a symphonic poem demonstrating the profound Chinese culture," Muhai Tang, the conductor of the performance, told Xinhua in an interview earlier in the day.

Following the show, the REACH, a newly-opened outdoor activity space for the Kennedy Center, glowed with the debut of approximately 100 stunning Winter Lanterns crafted by Chinese artisans ranging from the 12 Zodiac Signs, Panda Grove, to Mushroom Garden display.

After the performance in Washington, the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, is expected to tour around America in the following three weeks performing Chinese folk music in six cities. 

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