Caijing: “Mozart Would Be Pleased” About Progress Made In China’s Classical Music Scene In The Past Few Years
Classical music aficionados may already be familiar with a handful of top Chinese musicians, from pianist Lang Lang and composer Tan Dun to the scores of musicians trained in traditional Chinese styles. However, on a broader scale the world remains generally in the dark about recent developments that have had a dramatic effect on the Chinese classical music scene. Recently, Caijing magazine looked into the rapidly developing Chinese classical music world, which has responded to globalization by quickly incorporating western styles with their own traditions, and has produced a number of world-class musicians within the last 30 years while revitalizing global classical music by providing new and vast audiences (as well as spectacular venues like the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing).
The year 2008 was a big one for classical music in China, as operas newly composed and freshly staged catered to the public taste for accessible entertainment. Famous classical music composers flung themselves into the task of creating music for the Beijing Olympics. Not surprisingly, they sometimes trespassed in the field of pop music.
As China attracts more and more worldwide attention, so too do its composers. Tan Dun’s opera The First Emperor had its global premiere at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 2008, and his Tea had its first Chinese performance at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA). But these operas were also conceptual successes, in the sense that Tan Dun used new-media techniques and bridged cultural differences between East and West in order to make the works broadly popular.