Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Yu Hongmei, professor and director of the Chinese Music Department at the Central Conservatory of Music, shared her perspective on advancing the friendship between China and the United States by employing music-cultural exchange.

"Academic exchange is an important way to promote academic development and cultural exchange between the two countries. Its implications are abroad and far-reaching," said Yu. "Civilization is more colorful through communication, and culture is enriched through mutual understanding and learning."

Yu concluded her speech by stating her firm belief that "educational and cultural exchange between China and the United States, especially through music, will continue to develop, and it will add a positive energy to bilateral relations."

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and founder of the innovative pre-professional orchestra The Orchestra Now, highlighted the universality of music. "Collaboration and exchange is a long-term game to share what we have in common as human beings, regardless of one's nationality and background."

Botstein illustrated that such communication through music could foster bonding among people from different countries, as it encourages people to put down their guards and induces more friendly interactions.

Another prominent panel speaker, a distinguished professor at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Chen Yi, signaled that the harmonious resonance of music can transcend political barriers and pave the way for a brighter future of collaboration, friendship and mutual respect.

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She noted that "not only the instrumental music but also the power of theater and musical storytelling, all these components will become the new language in which you will be shaped and influenced. I thought that it brought us back to our traditional roots."

"I adore classical music, and I do think it is one of the last areas where we can all sort of comfortably enjoy something together," said Orville Schell, director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society, expressing his hope Washington and Beijing "can use it constructively" to help stabilize the bilateral relationship.

Gary Ginstling, president and CEO of the New York Philharmonic, spoke of his recent trip to China.

"I can't wait to go back with the full orchestra," said Ginstling, referring to his trip to Shanghai with a small group of the orchestra's musicians.

The discussion was followed by music performances by pipa virtuoso Liu Xiaojing from the Central Conservatory of Music and Anita Balazs, a cellist of the Bard East/West Ensemble.

The U.S.-China Music Forum is a novel addition to the China Now Music Festival, now in its sixth year following its launch in 2018 by the U.S.-China Music Institute and China's Central Conservatory of Music.

Themed "The Bridge of Music," this year's festival is expected to conclude on Sunday.

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