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They're Baching Mad
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Beijing hosts the acclaimed Piano aux Jacobins festival this weekend. It is the third year the annual festival of recitals has come to China from Toulouse, France, where recitals are staged in the ancient cloister of the Couvent des Jacobins.

The Forbidden City concert hall will today stage the youthful yet classic player, David Fray, and on Sunday, the romantic Dana Ciocarlie (pictured).

Fray was appointed "Young Soloist of the Year" by the Commission des Radios Publiques Francophones in 2004. He has played at many prestigious venues in Europe, America and Asia, collaborating with conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Kurt Masur and Riccardo Muti.

Specializing in classical repertoire, and especially Bach, Fray will play Bach's French Suite No.1 in D minor and Partita No.4 in D major, and Beethoven's Sonata No.7 and No. 10.

Dana Ciocarlie's style is of the Romanian school of piano. She has a broad repertoire, ranging from Bach to today's composers, some of who have dedicated works to her. Tomorrow, Ciocarlie performs Mozart, Schumann, Schubert, Debussy and two contemporary pieces by Karol Beffa and Georges Enesco.

Both pianists will play in Beijing for the first time.

"I am happy to play in Beijing, and I have played in Hong Kong before. I know that today's China is an important country in classic music. You have thousands of kids who play piano, violin and other instruments," says Ciocarlie.

Piano aux Jacobins artistic director Catherine d'Argoubet said the festival was honored to hold its Chinese edition in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

"Every year we try to bring pianists of different personalities. We know China has many high-brow classic music fans and hope they would enjoy our music," she says.

Time: 7:30 pm, June 9,10

Place: The Forbidden City Concert Hall. Inside Zhongshan Park, to the northwest of Tian'anmen Square

Tel: 6559-8285, 6558-8306

(China Daily June 9, 2007)

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