Young composers reimagine traditional Chinese music
Updated: 2016-11-24

Shanghai Symphony Hall hosted a unique concert fusing old with new on Nov 15, as the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra performed eight pieces by young composers from five different countries offering their interpretations of traditional Chinese music.

The event, organized by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and titled Hear the Voice of China, gave the talented youngsters the freedom to write an original piece integrating Chinese musical elements, which was performed by the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra led by the famous conductor Zhang Liang.

The composers, hailing from the UK, US, New Zealand, Poland and China, offered a variety of different takes on their subject, integrating Chinese musical elements in striking and original ways.


Young composers from China and overseas pose for a group photo at Hear the Voice of China, where the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra performed a series of pieces composed by the youngsters integrating traditional Chinese musical elements, on Nov 15. [Photo provided to]

The composers were also taken on a series of field trips to give them a better insight into traditional Chinese music.

They visited several local workshops for making Chinese traditional musical instruments, where they learned how to make a guzheng (21- or 25-string plucked instrument) and erhu (a two-stringed bowed musical instrument).

They were also excited to experience Kunqu Opera at Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe. Putting on the traditional opera costumes, they earnestly tried to learn the movements and gestures of the ancient art.

"The activities are quite fruitful, as they not only build a musical bridge connecting Chinese and overseas musicians, but also open the window of splendid Chinese musical culture," said Lin Zaiyong, secretary of the Party committee of the SCM.


Musicians from the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra perform during Hear the Voice of China, a concert for symphonic compositions with traditional Chinese musical elements, held at Shanghai Symphony Hall on Nov 15. [Photo provided to]

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