Two more conservatories have arrived in Beijing: the Sibelius Academy (from Helsinki, Finland) and Mozarteum University (from Salzburg, Austria.) Last night, the Central Conservatory of Music hosted a welcoming banquet for the new arrivals. In Finnish, German, English, and Chinese, the musicians raised their glasses to toast the success of the Musicathlon. Even though the performances had just begun, everyone agreed that the spirit of the Musicathlon was evident in this multi-lingual gathering of performers and administrators, professors and students.
For the Sibelius Academy, the Musicathlon is only one event in this trip to China: their delegation has spent several days visiting Chinese conservatories in the hopes of building more international collaborations.
Tonight, the Mozarteum performed in the Central Conservatory Concert Hall. Both Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms lived and worked in Austria, though Brahms was born near Hamburg. In addition to two staples of the chamber repertoire, Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet and Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor, the Mozarteum also performed a movement of Schubert’s lesser-known posthumous string trio in B-flat major. The enthusiastic audience applauded warmly and snapped photos with their cell phone cameras.