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29 April 2022, 17:33

"East-West Fusion" erhu concerts held in Sydney, Australia

SYDNEY, 29 April (BelTA - Xinhua). - From April 22 to April 25, Phoenix Collective's erhu concerts "East-West Fusion" were presented to audiences in Canberra, Sydney and the Central Coast, Australia.

This was the first time that Phoenix Collective combined Western string quartets with the traditional Chinese erhu. It revealed the unique charm of Chinese and Western music fusion by exploring traditional Chinese folk music, winning wide praise from audiences.

Chinese erhu performer Ying Liu and four famous Australian performers from the Phoenix Collective performed the concert together and jointly arranged Chinese and Australian classical music works.

Dan Russell, artistic director of the concert, said that the concept of combining Western string quartets and erhu was formed by exchanging musical ideas with Ying and the orchestra's cellist Andrew Wilson. “The uniqueness of the erhu sound, for me, represents the different soundscape that I was looking for,” he said.

He also said that although the ensemble of violin and erhu put forward higher requirements for the selection of repertoire, the erhu and string quartet cooperated perfectly.

Ying also agreed. “The sound of the violin and the erhu are very well integrated.

“Now many composers have begun to compose music focusing on the fusion of Chinese and Western music.”

Liu also affirmed the significance of this tour concert. She said, “Chinese culture has been subtly integrated into Western artistic creation.”

Russell also added that films with traditional Chinese culture also inspired him.

“I've kind of grown up listening to the music used in movies such as Hero, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and House of Flying Daggers, the music used in these movies is exquisite,” Russell said.

The whole concert mainly explored traditional Chinese folk music, improvisation and modern experimental techniques. The concert opened with an excerpt from the classic Chinese music piece Ode to Yellow River by cellist Andrew Wilson.

The repertoire also includes many classic pieces adapted from the fusion of Chinese and Western musical elements, such as Left Bank Waltz by Australian composer Peter Schuthorpe, specially arranged by Australian arranger Julie Symonds for the erhu and quartet.

The adapted Chinese traditional folk songs Jasmine Flower, Beautiful Night, Lan Hua-Hua, and other works were also performed for audience, one after another. More improvised songs, such as the music from Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, attracted applause from the audience.

The Australian audience also showed great enthusiasm for the concert.

Russell said that music is a sound that anyone can understand.

“Music is a universal language, and so in that respect, anyone can enjoy and understand it,” he noted

Ying also said that most people listening to the concert were Westerners. "Everyone likes and enjoys it, and completely indulges in it," she said.

Ying also emphasized that the exchange of music between China and the West shows China's national culture and self-confidence, and music is the commonwealth of all humanity.

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