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China Now Music Festival: Facing the Past, Looking to the Future

Sunday, October 21, 3 p.m.


David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY.
Pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m.

Program Two features works inspired by three wrenching events in Chinese history: the heroic effort during the first Opium War (1839–42) to confiscate and burn imported opium; the Nanjing Massacre (1937); and the experience of the “sent-down youth” during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76).

The concert begins with Symphony ‘Humen 1839’ by Chen Yi and Zhou Long. The work is a musical portrait of the heroic effort to confiscate and burn imported opium. Ye Xiaogang’s My Faraway Nanjing for cello and orchestra is dedicated to the 300,000 civilian victims killed in the Japanese invasion of Nanjing during World War II. Composer Tony Fok and writer Su Wei both lived through the chaotic period of the Cultural Revolution. They were among the more than 17 million urban Chinese youths sent down to the countryside to labor alongside farmers. This experience inspired their oratorio/cantata Ask the sky and the earth, featuring a chorus of more than 200 members from around the U.S., some of whom were also among the “sent down youth.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of the movement. 

Tickets, $20–$50, available at, CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, or the David Geffen Hall box office.

Groups of 10 or more: use code GROUP20 at checkout.