Cultural ties with China set to grow


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 14 Jan 2003

By JASON CHEAH

KUALA LUMPUR: There could soon be a significant increase in cultural exchanges between musicians from China and Malaysia. 

Vice-Dean of the Xian Conservatory of Music in Xian, China, Prof Lu Rirong said this yesterday at a press conference to announce a collaboration concert with Malaysia’s Professional Cultural Centre Orchestra (PCCO) to be held at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas. 

Lu, who will act as one of two conductors for the concert scheduled for early next week, is leading a contingent of 14 musicians and lecturers in Chinese music and musical instruments from the conservatory for the combined concert. 

COMBINED EFFORT: Chew announcing the collaboration concert during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur Monday.

He said through an interpreter that since his first visit to Malaysia 10 years ago, Malaysian students had already been accepted into Xian Conservatory and other schools in China. 

“I can foresee more (Malaysian) students going to China to study and more musicians coming to Malaysia to perform concerts and similar programmes of teaching. 

“Prior to the current visit there have been a few visits by Chinese musicians but those have been solo or small ensemble performances. 

“This collaboration is probably one of the largest in terms of musicians performing in Malaysia in recent years and is significant in that this time musicians from both countries will be performing together in one orchestra,” he added. 

This will also be the first time a Chinese orchestra will be performing in the custom-built Dewan Filharmonik Petronas. 

PCCO's Malaysian conductor and music director Chew Hee Chiat said one of the main objectives for the cultural exchange would be to eventually set up a fully professional Chinese orchestra in Malaysia. 

“There are no fully professional musicians in Chinese music here. 

We don’t have many conservatoires to learn in, so the main problem we face is lack of technique in the teaching system. 

Despite its name, PCCO is still a predominantly amateur orchestra with few full time musicians performing in it. 

The combined concert will be held on Monday and Tuesday nights at 8.30pm.  

Music performed will comprise works composed by Lu as well as Chinese composers Zhao Jiping, Zhao Zhenxiao, Guan Ming, Zhou Dongchao and Zhang Dalong. 

Also featured will be one composition by Chew. 

The soloists, all from China, who will be performing are Niu Miao Miao (erhu), Huyan Meiwen (erhu), Zhao Jing (pipa) and Gao Xiaopeng (suona). 

Tickets are priced at RM50, RM100, RM150 and RM200. 

For bookings call the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas box office at 03-2051 7007, fax: 03-2051 7077 or e-mail dfp_boxoffice@petronas.com.my  

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