Set on a floating stage in the middle of the scenic pond within the Chinese Garden of Friendship, a collaboration of master musicians from China and Australia presented a sublime and stunning concert in the seclusion and harmony of the quintessential Chinese garden on 10th, followed by another performance on 11th February, coinciding with the Chinese traditional Lantern Festival.
Following the huge success of last year’s performance, China Cultural Centre continued to cooperate with the eminent Australian composer John Huie, music director of the concert, to arrange and tailor this annually held musical event.
“It’s a whole new style of music, a whole new sound you’ve just got to hear”, said Mr. Huie.
Featuring the Beauty & Melody Orchestra from Sichuan, China, MSO principal cellist, David Berlin, Deputy Concertmaster of the Australian Opera, violinist, Vivien Jeffery, Jane Rutter, flute and Hugh Fraser, double bass, this year’s concert exhibits a seamless fusion of ancient Chinese traditions and modern appeal through the integration of both Eastern and Western music elements.
“One of the pieces we’re playing is actually by a Canadian group, it’s called Red Grass – it’s basically country and western blue grass with Chinese instruments”, Huie continued to introduce.
The concert was designed in a very inclusive way as far as selected programs and genre are concerned. Incorporating classic Chinese pieces such as and The Grapes are ripe, the repertoire also consisted of rearranged pieces like The Night of the Torch Festival, and Blooming Flowers and Full Moon and Battle Steeds Galloping Ahead.
The 2-hour performance created both characteristic Chinese music atmosphere, and a harmonious integration of eastern and western music genres through a wide range of instruments, namely, ruan, pipa, guzheng, erhu, flute, double bass, violin and cello.
John Huie believed that the performance was a seamless blend of great musical cultures, and the selected programs showed just how similar Western and Chinese musical styles can be, and how they can work beautifully together.
“You’ve really just got to experiment and that’s what I was doing for all those years. It was a fantastic journey and it’s still ongoing. China is a massive place and you can’t stop learning”, said Huie.
Ending with an encore of two extra pieces, and long-lasting applause, the audiences showed tremendous appreciation and respect for the musicians’ exquisite skills and dedication.
Arranged by China Cultural Centre, the well-claimed Sichuan Beauty & Melody Orchestra will deliver another special concert at Nan Tien Temple on 12th.
Featuring six prominent Chinese female musicians, and a number of specially designed Buddhist – themed pieces, the concert will be both of a representation of the orchestra’s “New Folk Musical Ideas” as well as an entrancing exploration of Chinese traditional culture.
“We’ve added Buddhist, folk and traditional elements into this special concert, and we hope this performance will bring a relaxing afternoon to the audience”, said Mrs. Tang, leader of the Beauty & Melody Orchestra.