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"Western classical music is developing in China at phenomenal speed, but just as exciting is the freshness that Chinese composers bring to the Western world. With the China Now Music Festival as our looking glass, we hope to bring people and cultures from East and West together through music.”

–Jindong Cai

Presented by the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music in collaboration with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the China Now Music Festival is dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of classical music from contemporary China through an annual series of concerts and lectures. Each year the festival will explore a significant theme.


Announcing the 2019 China Now Music Festival

CHINA AND AMERICA — UNITY IN MUSIC

September 28 to October 6, 2019
Bard College | Carnegie Hall | Stanford University

The 2nd annual China Now Music Festival celebrates milestones in the history of U.S.-China relations through music. Highlights include the world premiere of a symphonic oratorio by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Zhou Long honoring Chinese workers on the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, plus a musical portrait of renowned diplomat Wellington Koo, and the China Now Music Festival Gala at Carnegie Hall.


main eventS

Monday, September 30, 7 pm

Wellington Koo the Diplomat – A Life in Song 

Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street & 7th Avenue, New York, NY

A multimedia concert paints a musical portrait of Koo’s life with images and performances by world-famous musicians including soprano Huang Ying, baritone Shen Yang, and Luoyong Wang as narrator, with a world premiere chamber piece by composer Peng-Peng Gong. The China Now Music Festival Gala follows the concert in the Weill Music Room at Carnegie Hall.

Wellington Koo, diplomat

Wellington Koo, diplomat

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Tickets available at carnegiehall.org, CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue. (tickets on sale soon)



Jindong Cai, The Orchestra Now, and the China Now Festival Chorus. photo by Joe Zhou

Jindong Cai, The Orchestra Now, and the China Now Festival Chorus. photo by Joe Zhou

Tuesday, October 1st, 7:30 pm

From the Middle Kingdom to the Wild West

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street & 7th Avenue, New York, NY

The China Now Music Festival fills the big stage at Carnegie Hall for an orchestral performance of two premiere works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Zhou Long.

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Men of Iron and the Golden Spike 铁汉金钉 – a symphonic oratorio is a major new work by Zhou Long and lyricist Su Wei for full symphony orchestra, soloists and a mixed chorus in honor of the Chinese railroad workers of the American West. The work reflects the epic history of nearly 20,000 Chinese laborers who contributed to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 150 years ago. With music by Zhou Long and lyrics by Su Wei. Performed by The Orchestra Now with the China Now Festival Chorus and soloists.

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Classic of Mountains and Seas 山海经 – concerto for orchestra is a new symphonic work inspired by the ancient Chinese classic text “Shan Hai Jing.”

Bard College’s The Orchestra Now performs, conducted by China Now Music Festival Artistic Director Jindong Cai, with the China Now Music Festival chorus and soloists.

Tickets available at carnegiehall.org, CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue. (tickets on sale soon)


Sunday, October 6th, 2:30 pm

From the Middle Kingdom to the Wild West

Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University, 327 Lasuen Street, Stanford, CA

Jindong Cai conducts The Orchestra Now in a reprise of the Carnegie Hall October 1st program.

The Orchestra Now with conductor Jindong Cai

The Orchestra Now with conductor Jindong Cai

Zhou Long, composer

Zhou Long, composer

Su Wei, lyricist

Su Wei, lyricist

Tickets available at live.stanford.edu, by phone at 650.724.BING (2464), or at the Bing Concert Hall Ticket Office, 327 Lasuen Street, Stanford, CA 94305


other festival EVENTS

Saturday, September 28th, 12 pm

The Philadelphia Orchestra performs in Beijing, 1973.

The Philadelphia Orchestra performs in Beijing, 1973.

Beethoven in Beijing: the future of classical music

Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Center, Bard College, 55 Blithewood Avenue, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Documentary film preview and discussion on the Philadelphia Orchestra’s history making tour of China in 1973, marking the beginning of an explosion of interest in Western classical music which continues there to this day. With film-maker Jennifer Lin, Jindong Cai, and representatives of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Light lunch reception following the screening.

Free and open to the public.


Susan Chan, pianist

Susan Chan, pianist

Sunday, September 29, 7 pm

Echoes of China – Contemporary Piano Music

László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Susan Chan performs works for piano by Tan Dun, Chen Yi, and Zhou Long, as well as other composers inspired by Chinese musical traditions. 

Free and open to the public.


china now music festival NYC lecture series

Co-Sponsored by China Institute, 100 Washington Street, New York, NY 10006

  • Beethoven in Beijing: the future of classical music

  • The Diplomat Wellington Koo

  • The Making of the Oratorio Men of Iron and the Golden Spike

details to come


festival related special events

Carnegie Hall, Weill Music Room

Carnegie Hall, Weill Music Room

Monday, September 30, 8:30 pm

China Now Music Festival Gala

Weill Music Room at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street & 7th Avenue, New York, NY

A Benefit for the US-China Music Institute to celebrate the 2019 China Now Music Festival and this year’s theme, China and America — Unity in Music. Join us for an evening of music, stories, fine dining, and an auction. Held in connection with the concert Wellington Koo the Diplomat — A Life in Song.


Tan Dun conducts  The Martial Arts Trilogy

Tan Dun conducts The Martial Arts Trilogy

Saturday, September 28th, 8pm

Tan Dun’s Martial Arts Trilogy

Sosnoff Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Tan Dun, dean of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, conducts the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra performing live to a film featuring excerpts from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero; and The Banquet. With soloists Peter Wiley, cello; Daniel Phillips violin; Blair McMillen, piano; and Benjamin Hochman, piano.

Ticket sales benefit the Conservatory Scholarship Fund

Tickets available at the Fisher Center Box office, 845-758-7900 or fishercenter.bard.edu


 

about the inaugural China Now Music Festival, october 2018

Facing the Past, Looking to the Future:
Chinese Composers in the 21st Century

The inaugural season of the China Now Music Festival in 2018 featured U.S. and world-premiere works by some of the most important Chinese composers of our time, performed by Bard College's The Orchestra Now and conducted by Jindong Cai

The performance won thunderous applause. “The music is beautiful and the percussion is impressive,” Suzanne Mark, a New York resident told Xinhua, adding that this kind of Chinese history-themed melody helped her understand more about Chinese culture. - Xinhua News