Zhuhai orchestra showcases Guangdong culture

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The Zhuhai Traditional Chinese Orchestra, one of the youngest orchestras of the country, is performing in Beijing to showcase the beauty of Guangdong folk music.

According to Chen Weian, general manager of event organizer Zhuhai Performing Arts Group, the performances celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the return of Macao to the motherland as well as show the dynamic culture of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The series of shows kicked off with a concert, titled The Music of the Greater Bay, performed under the baton of conductor Li Fubin, also a professor at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou. The concert, held on Oct 20 at the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in Beijing, offered audiences songs adapted from the folk music of Guangdong province as well as original songs with distinctive Lingnan (Southern China) regional culture, such as Cantonese opera, composed by Li.

According to Zhang Tianyu, president of Zhuhai Traditional Chinese Orchestra, young musicians with an average age of under 26 from all over China joined in the orchestra when it was launched two years ago as a main part of Zhuhai Performing Arts Group.

"Those young musicians have learned and fell in love with Guangdong music. 80 percent of them don't speak Cantonese but during the past two years, they've learned to sing Guangdong folk songs in Cantonese. With the shows in the capital, we want to introduce and showcase the beauty of Guangdong music," Zhang said, adding the concert, The Music of the Greater Bay, was first performed in Guangzhou in September 2020 and was warmly received by audiences.

He added with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea bridge, having opened to the public in October 2018, people are more connected which allows culture like music to be enjoyed by a wider audience.

On Oct 24, pieces by renowned Chinese composer He Zhanhao were performed in a concert held at Peking University in Beijing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the Communist Party of China. The composer, 88, is known for his Chinese violin concerto Butterfly Lover sand took the baton to perform with the orchestra in Zhuhai in July 2019. According to Zhang, Zhu is also invited to be the orchestra's artistic consultant.

On Oct 28 and 29 a symphonic suite titled Bougainvillea and Lotus Flowers featuring 14 individual music pieces will be performed at Shunyi Grand Theater in Beijing and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. With lyrics by Zhu Hai and music by Meng Weidong and Li Fubin, the symphonic suite combines traditional Cantonese folk music, Cantonese opera and Western music.

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