US or­ches­tra to play in China

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By NIU YUE in New York

The Na­tional Youth Or­ches­tra of USA (NYOUSA) is headed to China this week.

“I’m sure with this tour, you (or­ches­tra mem­bers) will make your mark on China-US cul­ture ex­changes as well as the China-US bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, and I have no doubt that you will ac­com­plish this mis­sion in the most re­mark­able way,” Zhang Qiyue, con­sul gen­eral of China in New York, said at a send­off for the or­ches­tra at the Con­sulate Gen­eral in New York on Tues­day night.

“China has be­come one of the world’s most im­por­tant cen­ters for clas­si­cal mu­sic and will play an ever-in­creas­ing role in the fu­ture,” said Sir Clive Gillinson, ex­ec­u­tive and artis­tic di­rec­tor of Carnegie Hall.

The or­ches­tra, made up of 114 youths from more than 30 states, will per­form in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Suzhou, Xi’an, Shen­zhen, Guangzhou and Hong Kong from July 12-26, led by renowned con­duc­tor Charles Du­toit.

The young mu­si­cians also will com­mu­ni­cate with lo­cal mu­si­cians and get a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence Chi­nese history and cul­ture.

“Mu­sic, I be­lieve, from the an­cient time to the fu­ture, is al­ways the bridge be­tween peo­ple,” said Tan Dun, Chi­nese Academy Award-win­ning com­poser, whose new works have been added to the or­ches­tra’s reper­toire. Chi­nese pi­ano vir­tu­oso Li Yundi will also join in the tour as guest soloist.

Es­tab­lished in 2013, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Mu­sic In­sti­tute brings to­gether out­stand­ing young mu­si­cians (ages 16-19) each sum­mer from across the United States.

The mu­si­cians go through a com­pre­hen­sive au­di­tion process and a half-month in res­i­dence with fac­ulty from top pro­fes­sional or­ches­tras.

For the past two years, the troupe has toured Rus­sia and the United King­dom.

In July 2014, NYO-USA’s visit to China was des­ig­nated as one of four Cul­tural Pil­lars by the US State Depart­ment and Chi­nese gov­ern­ment for the Fifth US-China Con­sul­ta­tion on Peo­ple-to-Peo­ple Ex­change (CPE).

The CPE aims to en­hance and strengthen ties be­tween Amer­i­can and Chi­nese cit­i­zens in cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, science and tech­nol­ogy, sports and women’s is­sues.

“As an im­por­tant com­po­nent of the Sino-US re­la­tion­ship, cul­ture ex­change be­tween China and the US has played an ir­re­place­able role in com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­hanc­ing mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and friend­ship be­tween peo­ple of two coun­tries,” Min­is­ter of Cul­ture of China Luo Shugang wrote in a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter, read by Li Liyan, cul­tural coun­selor and head of the cul­tural of­fice of the Chi­nese Con­sulate Gen­eral.

“We should thank the thou­sands of Chi­nese and Amer­i­can artists and cul­tural prac­ti­tion­ers, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the NYO-USA mu­si­cians, for their con­tri­bu­tion,” Luo wrote, adding that or­ga­ni­za­tions like Carnegie Hall help pro­mote Si­noUS cul­tural ex­change.

“Both China and the US have a rich and diver­si­fied cul­ture. I be­lieve the or­ches­tra will not only bring Chi­nese au­di­ences top artis­tic en­joy­ment, but also tighten the friend­ship be­tween Chi­nese and the US peo­ple,” Cui Tiankai, Chi­nese am­bas­sador to the US, wrote in a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter.

More than 200 guests were in­vited to the re­cep­tion, in­clud­ing for­mer US sec­re­tary of state Henry Kissinger and New York City Coun­cil­man Peter Koo. The guests were treated to cham­ber en­sem­bles. Hong Xiao in New York con­trib­uted to this story.

PHOTO BY HAN MENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Zhang Qiyue (cen­ter), con­sul gen­eral of China in New York; Sir Clive Gillinson (left), ex­ec­u­tive and artis­tic di­rec­tor of Carnegie Hall, and Henry Kissinger, for­mer US sec­re­tary of state, chat at the con­sulate gen­eral of China in New York dur­ing the farewell re­cep­tion for the Na­tional Youth Or­ches­tra of USA on Tues­day night in New York.

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