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Classical Music Is Capturing the Youth in China

Jan. 13. 2019 (EIRNS)—A full-page article in China Daily finds that classical music is really catching on in China, and particularly among the youth. The article refers to two concerts featuring Brahms’ symphonies conducted by Daniel Barenboim with the Staatskapelle Berlin last month at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. When he finished the performance, Barenboim asked for the concert lights to be turned up before giving an encore. Looking at the audience, he said, “I have never seen such a young crowd sitting in a classical music concert. It’s a surprise.” The NCPA’s slogan is “Art Changes Life.”

The number of symphony orchestras has risen. Four years ago there were 30 professional orchestras in China, but by last year the figure had risen to 82, presenting opportunities not only for young Chinese musicians, but also for musicians all over the world. Lyu Jia, the music director of the NCPA and principal conductor of its orchestra and chorus, said:

“It is such an encouraging environment for classical music to develop in China. The country has a healthy music education system and a large number of young people who are currently studying musical instruments, whether in schools or with private tutors. Most important, they remain passionate and exuberant.”

World-renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang is also intensely engaged in spreading classical music. “I would like to introduce classical music to everyone in the world because it changed my life, and I believe it can change others,” Lang said.

“Playing or listening to these great pieces is like reading the world’s best novels. With the same appeal, they relate emotions, inspiration and enjoyment.... The piano is a bridge between East and West,”

Lang said.

“It is a gateway for Chinese to approach the world. For most Chinese, classical music is quite new. We don’t have the concept that it is from the old times, say 200 or 300 years ago. We have a fresh image of Mozart and Beethoven, and a deep respect for these composers.”

Lang, who plays to sold-out houses, was a student of Barenboim. Nearly 300 Chinese from around the country, ages from 4 to 15, are attending Lang Lang Music World, a training school in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.

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