Peng Jiapeng (third from left), artistic director and chief conductor of the Suzhou Chinese Orchestra.[Photo provided to China Daily]
On Feb 9, the Suzhou Chinese Orchestra staged its 13th performance in Europe, the last stop of its Europe tour at the Zaryadye Concert Hall in Moscow, Russia. This show was to mark Lunar New Year and the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Russia.
The Zaryadye Concert Hall is adjacent to the Red Square in Moscow. And the Suzhou Chinese Orchestra is the first Chinese orchestra to perform there after the opening of the theater in 2018.
The orchestra uses traditional Chinese instruments to convey the joy of Spring Festival and the yearning for a better life.
Li Hui, the Chinese ambassador to Russia, says: "China and Russia are two great countries ... So, let the beautiful music connect our hearts, and give our two countries good fortune and prosperity."
The concert was conducted by the artistic director and chief conductor of the orchestra, Peng Jiapeng, and performed by the erhu performer, artistic instructor of the orchestra Zhu Changyao, cellist Kang Qiaoxuan and more than 90 young performers.
Classical tunes such as Spring Festival Overture, My Motherland, The Moon Over a Fountain, The Butterfly Dream, The Lyric Variations and Macao Capriccio connected the East to the Moscow audience.
The performance, which was recorded, also featured William Tell Overture, Thunder and Lightning Polka, Slavonic Dances and Kalinka.
A Russian Ministry of Culture official said: "The concert was beyond my expectations. I was very impressed by the unique charm of the Suzhou Chinese Orchestra."
Li said: "I am very grateful to the orchestra for coming to Moscow during Spring Festival. This is a symbol of Chinese culture going abroad and the soft power of Chinese culture."
Meanwhile, the two countries are discussing plans to hold more cultural exchange activities.
And the performance is the first of the series of cultural exchanges between the two countries this year.
Separately, this month's Europe tour, which spanned nine countries with 13 performances in 25 days, covering a total journey of more than 20,000 kilometers, was funded by China National Art Fund and provincial art fund program of Jiangsu.
Ambassadors and diplomats from various countries attended the concert, and more than 15,000 local people purchased tickets to watch the show.
Speaking about the tour, Peng said: "We must adhere to the path of internationalization and use the concept to build the orchestra, because China is part of the wider world.
"As the artistic director of the orchestra, I will continue to lead it to intensify the innovation, continue to create excellent works, promote exchanges with world-renowned orchestras, and use first-class artistic standards and orchestra styles."
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