Raising the profile of Chinese composers in the West

Posted on: July 10, 2013

In Wednesday’s (7/10) Straits Times (Singapore; subscription required), Akshita Nanda profiles pianist Chen Sa, whose “current focus is to bring Chinese composers into the Western symphony spotlight. To that end, she performs Chen Qigang’s Er Huang with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra on July 19 at the Esplanade Concert Hall, under the baton of Lan Shui. Er Huang is based on Beijing operatic melodies and the pianist waxes lyrical instead about it, describing it as ‘a very good balance of our authentic art, Peking opera, and Western music.’ She herself is nicely balanced between East and West. Groomed by some of the best piano teachers in China and Europe, she took third prize in the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2005 and plays at concerts around the world … She was born in Chongqing, where her father played the French horn and her mother was a ballet dancer. … … more and more of her engagements are in Asia now, reflecting, she says, a growing interest in Western classical music. While ‘globalization’ means young musicians and audiences are exposed to some of the best music and musicians in the world, she worries that this is drowning out ‘national culture. Each country has very authentic elements to its culture.’ ”

Posted July 10, 2013