Voice of National Music Update Jun 07 2023

On the evening of June 5, the Concert Hall of the National Center for the Performing Arts witnessed the magnificent Voice of National Music: Opening Ceremony Concert of the National Seminar on the Chinese National School of Music "8+1, Ideological Education + X" Curriculum System. The concert was conducted by Li Xincao, a renowned conductor and President of the China Conservatory of Music, with Professor Jin Hui from the Orchestral Instruments Department serving as the chief performer of the orchestra. They collaborated with the Chinese National School of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Chorus of the Voice & Opera Department of China Conservatory of Music, China National Symphony Orchestra Chorus, as well as outstanding representatives of faculty and students from China Conservatory of Music. In addition, artists from the National Center for the Performing Arts and the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater joined forces to create a spectacular performance. Notably, more than 10 teachers from the Orchestral Instruments Department, Piano Department, and Department of Chinese Music joined the orchestra, contributing their superb performance skills and rich artistic expression to showcase the comprehensive artistic charm of the students.

Wang Xudong, secretary of the Party Committee of China Conservatory of Music, Liu Yu, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee, Wang Zheng, Member of the Party Committee and Vice President, Ma Chuncheng, Member of the Party Committee and Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Huang Hu, Member of the Party Committee and Vice President, Yin Bo, Deputy Director of the China National Symphony Orchestra, as well as leaders and representatives from participating institutions, jointly attended the performance.

The concert program mainly featured the teaching materials and practical achievements of Chinese National School of Music "8+1, Ideological Education + X" curriculum system. It not only showcased the teaching of music theory, composition, performance, and education by the faculty and students of the China Conservatory of Music, but also fully reflected its measures and outcomes of the curriculum system construction.

The concert commenced with the splendid performance of Festive Overture, composed by Professor Shi Wanchun, a composer of China Conservatory of Music. This piece showcases distinctive Chinese musical characteristics, vividly portraying a lively and celebratory ambiance. The suona section was masterfully performed by Zhang Qianyuan, a young teacher from the Department of Chinese Music of China Conservatory of Music, accompanied by undergraduate students Sun Xinxin, He Zonghan, Zhu Kexin, Zhang Siyuan, Li Lingfeng, Gu Hongtao, and Liu Yiqing. The suona, in harmonious interplay with the orchestra, created a rich tapestry of variations, producing a vibrant atmosphere with resounding percussion, effectively presenting the perfect fusion of Chinese instrumental tones and Western music genres.

The erhu concerto Ode to Hero, Ode to Love was performed by Hu Jujie, an undergraduate student from Department of Chinese Music enrolled in 2021. Inspired by the historical allusion of "Farewell My Concubine," young composer Li Bochan artfully depicted the themes of "hero" and "love." Hu Jujie's brilliant execution effectively controlled the dynamics, unveiling layers of melody and rhythm. The poignant dialogue between the erhu and the orchestra conveyed a sense of grandeur and magnanimity attributed to the hero. The melodic passages, resonating with emotions akin to weeping and storytelling, beautifully expressed admiration for unwavering love.

Missing, an orchestral composition by Pan Yiming, an undergraduate student from the Composition Department enrolled in 2018, eloquently expressed profound and tender missing of loved ones through a simple and pure musical language. The thematic material of this piece was unified and concentrated, showcasing rich variations in rhythm and melodic patterns within the "unsettled" and "missing" theme. The meticulous design of musical dynamics, accents, and playing techniques effectively conveyed the composer's delicate emotions, leaving a profound impact on the listeners.

The enchanting Polonaise in D major featured Yue Mingnan, a high school student from the Attached High School of the China Conservatory of Music, as the virtuosic violin soloist. Composed by Polish maestro Henryk Wieniawski, this piece fully accentuated the violin's performance techniques and tonal characteristics. Yue Mingnan's skillful execution vividly brought forth the distinct style of Polish folk dance music. The melodious and heartfelt melody, coupled with his effortless control and expressive interpretation of the music's tempo fluctuations, flawlessly merged with the orchestra's performance, providing an exhilarating auditory experience.

The captivating performance of Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major was delivered by Fan Zhengyang, an undergraduate student from the Piano Department enrolled in 2021. This concerto, a representative work by Soviet composer Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, featured the third movement with rich emotional variations, demanding a high level of dialogue and coordination between the piano and orchestral sections. Fan Zhengyang's adept handling of the challenging technical intricacies of the music seamlessly integrated with the expression of musical emotions. The piano solo resounded with a crisp tone, and his masterful control over dynamics provided a thrilling climax to the concert atmosphere.

The second half of the performance showcased the grand and awe-inspiring Chinese symphonic vocal masterpiece, Yellow River Cantata. The exceptional recitation by Zhao Ling, an actor from the National Center for the Performing Arts, portrayed with vividness the unwavering spirit of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. Through his masterful command of voice, rhythm, cadence, and emotion, Zhao Ling's recitation seamlessly merged with the instrumentalists and choir, becoming an integral part of the composition.

The first movement, titled Song of the Yellow River Boatmen, was a passionate and stirring piece that transported the audience to the turbulent banks of the Yellow River. The second movement, Ode to the Yellow River, featured a solo performance by Gao Peng, alumni of China Conservatory of Music Affiliated Middle School and an accomplished singer of China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater. With his heartfelt and dignified singing, Gao Peng expressed admiration for the indomitable spirit of the Chinese people.

Accompanied by Qiu Jiayu, a talented undergraduate student majoring in the pipa (a Chinese lute) from the Department of Chinese Music enrolled in 2019, Zhao Ling recited the third movement, The Yellow River Water from the Sky. Their performance, combining recitation and the melodious tones of the pipa, seamlessly merged with the orchestra, creating a layered and progressive presentation.

The fourth movement, Ballad of the Yellow River, blended a mellifluous and deeply emotional melody with the choir's interpretation, expressing the Yellow River's vastness and inclusiveness while conveying the people's earnest hopes for victory. The fifth movement, Singing by the River Side was finished by Wang Bo, a master's student enrolled in 2022, and An Qi, an undergraduate student enrolled in 2018 from the Voice & Opera Department of China Conservatory of Music, delivered a powerful rendition. Their singing was accompanied by Shang Zhongyuan, a youth teacher specializing in the sanxian (a three-stringed plucked instrument) from the Department of Chinese Music, and Gao Haixin, an undergraduate student from the Department of Chinese Music enrolled in 2022. This performance retained the colloquial and narrative qualities characteristic of folk music.

The sixth movement, Lament of the Yellow River, featured a poignant rendition by Yang Qi, a doctoral student at the China Conservatory of Music and a singer from the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater. Through profound and layered emotions, Yang Qi not only conveyed deep sorrow but also elevated the emotions evoked by the hardships endured by the Chinese nation.

The soaring emotions of the seventh movement, Defend the Yellow River, and the eighth movement, The Roaring Yellow River, brought the concert to a magnificent and exhilarating conclusion. The performances by the Choir of the Voice & Opera Department of China Conservatory of Music, China National Symphony Orchestra Choir , and Chinese National School of Music Symphony Orchestra collectively shaped a heroic image of the Chinese nation. Under the splendid direction of the conductor and the exceptional skills of all the performers, this interpretation expressed admiration for the revolutionary spirit of the older generation of red musicians, serving as a vivid embodiment of the red heritage and promoting the spirit of China.

The concert showcased a diverse range of musical styles and musical languages. Conductor Li Xincao's interpretation of the musical works maintained a rigorous academic style, paying meticulous attention to musical details while naturally expressing the emotions and the dynamics of the music. His approach to Yellow River Cantata, a grand-scale composition, emphasized the majestic and passionate atmosphere while delving into the profound emotions conveyed through the melodies. He skillfully integrated solo performances, recitations, the orchestra, and the choir, creating a performance that was both impactful and inspiring, allowing the audience to personally experience the power of unity and progress.

The concert hall was filled to capacity, and the audience erupted in thunderous applause, warmly congratulating the artists on stage. Amidst the enduring cheers, Li Xincao led the orchestra and choir to perform an encore of Defend the Yellow River. The concert concluded on a high note, with passionate music and applause filling the air.

This concert provided a high-standard and high-level platform for students to showcase their achievements through a large-scale orchestra and choir concerto. It was a momentous experience in the artistic lives of the students, helping them enhance their abilities, gain valuable experience, and expand their horizons, bringing them closer to higher artistic stages.

As the opening ceremony concert of the National Seminar on the Chinese National School of Music "8+1, Ideological Education + X" Curriculum System of Chinese Music Schools and the Second National Forum on Professional Development in Music Education, this concert highlighted the accomplishments of China Conservatory of Music in actively inheriting and promoting outstanding traditional Chinese culture. It adhered to the educational philosophy of " Inherit Chinese Culture, Raise Chinese Melody, Train Chinese Talents, Develop Chinese Music." Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China Conservatory of Music will continue to explore paths for the high-quality development of artistic education, provide practical strategies with distinct Chinese characteristics in the field of music education in China, and serve as a driving force in nurturing talented musicians capable of shouldering the responsibilities of national rejuvenation and contributing to the building of a strong country.

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