The Musicathlon begins!

Poster at the Central Conservatory of Music

Poster at the Central Conservatory of Music

The Central Conservatory of Music (CCM) occupies its own narrow lane in Beijing. Along that lane, the Conservatory’s buildings are decorated with blue banners announcing the events of the Musicathlon: The Conservatory Music Festival. Pedestrians congregated around the banners, discussing the schedule of concerts, master classes, and lectures. Farther down the alleys, the concert hall of the Central Conservatory opens onto a stone courtyard where the evening’s audience mingled in the warm summer evening.

Tonight the Shanghai Conservatory opened the Musicathlon with a program of Chinese and European music.

Here’s the printed program, with biographies and photos of the performers.

Their chamber ensembles included piano and strings, as well as traditional Chinese instruments such as the zheng (a stringed instrument, laid horizontally on a stand and plucked) and pipa (a relative of the lute, held vertically in the performer’s lap). Both of these traditional instruments were mixed with Western string instruments: the zheng with cello, and the pipa with a string quartet. The evening’s rich mixture suited the opening of a festival that will feature music and performers from eight countries on four continents.

Courtyard in front of the CCM

Courtyard in front of the CCM

More posters -- in the lobby of the CCM Concert Hall

More posters -- in the lobby of the CCM Concert Hall

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