28 July – 2 August 2010
By Andrea Angelini, ICB Managing Editor
It isn’t a secret. There is a country that is working hard to become a world leader: we are talking about China. This intent to emerge is evident in every sector, also in music. The great general desire to come to know European and other overseas culture, to study it and to leave behind decades of isolation brought about for geographical, politic and social reasons, is remarkable. In July, the 10th China International Chorus Festival was held in Beijing, with a huge number of choirs participating. The city of Beijing is the heart of China: history, culture, language, food and everything else revolves around it. “Singing becomes a true instrument of personal expression that elicits the very deepest of human emotions. Then, when singers are put side by side, it has the potential of generating a unique level of openness and honesty. It pulls people together into a unified one that transcends geo-political and cultural boundaries” says Michael J. Anderson, Interim President of the IFCM. And between the many concerts one could enjoy the interesting visit to the Forbidden City, a stroll across the magnificent Tiananmen Square, the bustle of umbrellas to shelter from the heat, the smell of roast duck, the thousands of bicycles everywhere, the aviaries at the windows. The choirs expressed their passion for musical activity through good preparation, continuous attention to the conductor and the commitment of individuals to benefit the entire choir. All this was supported by a truly efficient organizational staff. A computer and a cup of tea: technology, modernity and respect for traditions coexisted at any time. They must be safeguarded, as must be the “hutongs” which, with their courtyard houses, represent the essence of Old Beijing. Many of these bear the names of businesses that used to operate in the streets: Cotton’s Hutong, rice’s, tea leaves’ … “Choral music is a harmonious chord of wonderful singing, it is the soul associated with grace and beauty” – these are the words of Zhanng Yu, President of China Art Entertainment Group. Dynamism and industriousness are the salt of an ongoing transformation, in the choral scene as everywhere else. The ideas are many and crowd the mind, as do the colorful kites that intertwine and then float off into the infinity of the sky.
For more information visit http://en.cicfbj.cn/
Revised by Irene Auerbach, UK