Juilliard’s “Focus” festival to spotlight Chinese composers

Posted on: January 17, 2018

“What makes Chinese music Chinese? After a century of revolution and change, how do contemporary Chinese composers understand and reflect their heritage, even as they try to connect with global audiences?” writes Jacob Dreyer in Sunday’s (1/14) New York Times. “These are questions that get to the heart of a musical culture that remains largely veiled to American listeners. The Juilliard School’s annual Focus! festival of new composition is trying to pull aside that veil … with ‘China Today,’ a series of six free concerts from Jan. 19 to 26 [concentrating] on Chinese artists living and working in their own country, and using the same instrumental forces as those in the United States and Europe…. Including 33 composers, [Focus! founder and organizer Joel] Sachs has put together something like a history of Chinese ‘classical’ music in our time, from the 94-year-old master Chou Wen-Chung … to Shuci Wang, born in 1990…. The festival goes from the darkness of [the Cultural Revolution] era all the way to a new piece by Liu Sola, a Central Conservatory classmate of famous composers like Tan Dun, Chen Yi and Zhou Long.” For more on the contemporary classical-music scene in China, read Symphony magazine’s article here

Posted January 17, 2018