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Rediscovering Chinese Music in New York
   2015-12-21 18:44:18    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Wang Kun

Feng Mantian, a renowned Zhongruan artist at the Carnegie Hall, New York on Dec. 20th, 2015. He is one of the soloists of the concert "Impressions: Rediscovering Chinese Music" brought by the China National Traditional Orchestra. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

This year's Princeton International Chinese Music Festival has come to an end at Carnegie Hall in New York, with a closing concert from the China National Traditional Orchestra.

CRI's He Fei has more.


Several musicians stand on the auditorium and around the balconies, playing their traditional Chinese instruments in an attempt to mimic the sound of birds chirping.

The concert "Impressions: Rediscovering Chinese Music" has been put on by the China National Traditional Orchestra.

"I think it's very interesting especially when they played the instruments in the audience, it was very engaging, which I found very new and it's very refreshing because I wouldn't expect something like that to come from the traditional Chinese orchestra."

"I think they're unbelievably great. I just enjoyed it so so much and it's wonderful. The passion of the musicians and the conductor was just бн he put his whole heart into it. It was really very moving."

After more than a decade, the CNTO has returned to Carnegie Hall to try to put traditional Chinese works into a more modern light.

Invited by the Princeton International Chinese Music Festival, the orchestra includes 110 musicians, including famed musicians such as Wang Ciheng, Wu Yuxia, Tang Feng and Feng Mantian.

A series of new concepts have been added to the performances, including singing and chanting to try to amplify the mood of the music.

Feng Mantian, a renowned Zhongruan artist, singing Xintianyou, a traditional folk song from the northern part of Shaanxi province.

Feng says traditional Chinese folk music can be adapted to create a more modern feel.

"Folk music today has become a way to showcase how Chinese people look at music in the 21st century and our new understanding of Chinese culture. For the first time, I've introduced western blues guitar skills into my Zhongruan playing, and surprisingly it can be transformed to create a taste of the northern part of Shaanxi's folk tunes. To me it's like using English to tell a Chinese story."

Wu Yuxia is the orchestra's deputy president.

"Culture can lead us ahead. We hope our unique interpretation of traditional Chinese music will be embraced and understood by more audiences so that more and more people will come to support traditional Chinese music."

The Carnegie Hall concert is the Beijing-based ensemble's last performance in the US this year.

The orchestra also performed in the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. before arriving in New York.

For CRI, I'm He Fei in New York.

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