‘Happy Chinese New Year’ program makes its UN debut
The Suzhou Symphony Orchestra presented a celebratory concert at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York, on Feb 8.
The orchestra, which was dispatched by the China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd.(CAEG), brought the festive atmosphere of Chinese New Year and good blessings to diplomats, UN officials, as well as overseas Chinese in New York.
As part of the “Happy Chinese New Year" cultural exchange program hosted by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the performance mixed Chinese traditional musical pieces with western ones, and marked the cultural exchange program’s debut at the UN.
Some representative Chinese songs including Spring Festival Overture, Jasmine Flower and Dunhuang, and masterpieces of Austrian composer Johann Strauss II and Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky were performed.
On top of folk musical works and western pieces, traditional Chinese instruments Erhu and Dagu (bass drum) were also performed at the concert.
In the end, in order to entertain the enthusiastic audience, two Chinese folk melodies Beijing Tidings and Blooming Flowers and Full Moon, and Johann Strauss' Radetzky March were staged.
"We made sure that the song selection for today's performance covered both domestic and abroad, both classical and modern," said Chen Xieyang, the conductor and music director of the orchestra.
“It’s of great significance for Suzhou Symphony Orchestra to perform at the UN,” Chen said, adding that “the culture of Chinese Spring Festival can spread across all over the world through the UN diplomats.”
Prior to the concert, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, president of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, the Permanent Representative of Equatorial Guinea to the UN, Anatolio Ndong Mba and China's permanent representative to the UN Ma Zhaoxu addressed the opening. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres extended his greetings through a video.
Many Chinese audiences agreed that the concert made up not having their family reunion and they all spoke highly of the audio feast.
A Deputy Permanent Representative of Greece to the UN said that the performances brought him back to the “good old days”, recalling his working experience in China.
“Both China and Greece are ancient civilizations and cradles of culture. I have deep feelings for China and love Chinese language and culture. The concert was brilliant. I loved the Chinese melodies above all and felt as if I had returned to China,” he added.