Copyright 2024 - Ningbo Life / Ningbo Expat

“Art Masters’ Lectures” series activities launched

On the afternoon of January 21, Ye Xiaogang, Vice Chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and Chairman of the China Music Association, delivered an open class on “Telling Chinese Stories with Music” to the residents of Ningbo, at the Huiya Lecture Hall of the Minghu Campus of Ningbo Art Experimental School Education Group. The drizzling rain did not prevent music enthusiasts from coming and listening to the auditory feast.The class opened the prelude to the “Art Masters’ Lectures” activity in Ningbo, with the aim of telling the Chinese stories through music and nurturing the sentiment of the port city with literature and art.

Classic pieces appeal to the audience

Ye Xiaogang personally played the piano piece “Starlight”, which was once performed to over three billion people worldwide, marking the beginning of this open class.

Ye composed the “Starlight” for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. At the opening ceremony, Lang Lang presented the piece to a global audience of three billion, showcasing human being’s fantasy of the starry sky and love for life, as well as the modern Chinese way of thinking and their optimism and ambition for the future.

Then, he started with the story of the global dissemination of Chinese music that began in 2013 at the Lincoln Center in New York. He also talked about the stories behind his music creations such as “The Song of the Earth” and “"The Seven Chapters of Lin’an”, and shared his new ideas on music creation with the audience.

“The Song of the Earth” was created by Ye Xiaogang in 2005 based on seven  poems from the Tang Dynasty. With the same title as the world-renowned composer Gustav Mahler’s “The Song of the Earth”, it is a musical innovation that pays tribute to Mahler’s composition over a hundred years ago.

The “Seven Chapters of Lin’an” is a large-scale vocal symphony composed with poems about Hangzhou and the West lake, by such famous poets as Bai Juyi, Su Shi, Ouyang Xiu, Lu You, Wang Changling, and Yang Wanli. The melodies of the work are all derived from folk songs and music in the Hangzhou-Jiaxing-Huzhou Plain of Zhejiang Province, not only creating a lofty literary atmosphere, but also carrying a profound cultural heritage of Wu and Yue areas.

It is worth noting that Ye Xiaogang’s numerous works are infused with strong Chinese elements and atmosphere. After years of exploration and practice, he found that it is time for Chinese music to “go global”. He will continue to follow the path of telling Chinese stories with music, to present the voice of China on the international stages, and convey the image of China and express the feelings of Chinese people to the world.

When other classic works created by Master Ye Xiaogang were played, the emotions of the audience on site were ignited time and time again, and applause burst one after another.

Proposals on the cultural and artistic development in Ningbo

Ye Xiaogang has long been concerned about the cultural and artistic industry in Ningbo, especially the building of the Ningbo International Music Port. This time, starting from the perspectives of how to accelerate the building of the Ningbo International Music Port, the cultivation of Ningbo music talents, and the undertaking of telling the story of Ningbo with music, combined with his own experiences in the field, he put forward many opinions and suggestions for the development of Ningbo’s literary and artistic industry, providing important inspiration to the general public of Ningbo, especially literary and artistic practitioners and enthusiasts.

During the interaction with the audience, Ye Xiaogang also expressed his greeting to the undergraduate students and teachers of the School of Music of Ningbo University, hoping that they would move forward in their favorite fields and bravely climb the peaks of music.

As for whether it is possible to establish an international music school in Ningbo, Ye Xiaogang said that Ningbo is a city with a high cultural content, especially the ocean culture, and the Hemudu culture, and he hopes the building of an international music school can come true in the future.

The open class lasted two hours to the satisfaction of the audience. Yang, a sixth grade student at the Minghu Campus of Ningbo Art Experimental School Education Group, said that through the performance of the guzheng song “Stream” by Liu Le, a gold medalist of the China Golden Bell Awards, she seemed to hear the sound of a small stream flowing into the river. The entire piece was majestic and complete.

Mr. Zhang, a citizen, brought his family here. To him, “The Song of the Earth”, was truly an auditory enjoyment.

Another five masters to come

As a national historical and cultural city, in recent years, Ningbo has actively built a cultural talent innovation and education platform, and flexibly introduced 14 literary and artistic masters who are renowned in the domestic cultural and artistic field to set up the “literary and artistic master studios” in Ningbo. It is hoped that they will promote the cultural development and comprehensively support the great prosperity and development of Ningbo’s cultural industry.

Reportedly, this year, with the valuable resources of the “literary and artistic master studios”, Ningbo will organize the series of activities named the “Art Masters’ Lectures”. In future, five art masters, including Chen Zhenlian, Shan Jixiang, Ye Xin, Wu Yuxia, and Yu Lina, will also give lectures on stage. By leveraging the leading role of art masters, Ningbo will further promote the “cultural Ningbo” construction and benefit the general public

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