The Shanghai Spring International Music Festival has just kicked off. Organizers say the festival serves to encourage original music and promote citizens' appreciation for the arts. Our Shanghai correspondent Chen Simeng reports.
The festival's opening featured three pieces of newly composed symphonies presenting the understanding of the metropolis through the eyes of the composers.
Yang Xiaodu, vice mayor of Shanghai, says the music festival aims to encourage innovation and creation in order to maintain the brand of the festival.
"The Shanghai Spring International Music Festival has always sought to promote new composers and new pieces and meanwhile introduce new pieces and performances from other areas and countries. The festival also works to highlight the music culture from the public and improve our citizens' apprehension for the arts."
Dozens of concerts will be held over the two-week long festival, including performances by world music masters as well as a public singing competition.
Starting this year until 2010, the festival also highlights an invitation to the world's famous composers to write about Shanghai, including eight French composers doing so this year.
Accordion Week and Jazz Week are two of the major music activities during the festival.
Since the initiation of the music festival forty years ago, it is the first time a series of music events are being held to promote the accordion, which used to be a popular instrument in China in the 1970s and 80s.
Li Cong, president of the Shanghai Accordion Association says that due to the development of the living conditions and wider range of instruments available, the total number of accordion learners is decreasing.
"Over the past ten years, music institutes have offered an accordion major, which was a good thing. But what students are learning tilts to classical music that demands great playing technique that has difficulty being accepted by the public. Therefore, many people don't want to learn to play the instrument."
He says accordion week serves to promote the different schools of accordion music along with developing stage performing abilities.
During the week, world accordion masters with various playing styles were invited as well as a number of related activities were held to promote the instrument.
In addition, several prestigious jazz singers and bands from world jazz circles including Salina Jones were invited to perform during the just held Jazz week.
The organizer says the jazz week, which has been held for two years, will work to further develop China's own jazz music.
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