Meet in Beijing international arts festival features 2022 Winter Olympics
Updated 20:42, 07-Jan-2020
By Shen Li

The 20th Meet in Beijing Arts Festival has come early this year. The annual cultural event kicked off Monday night with the concert "Ode to Joy" at the National Center for the Performing Arts. Special activities for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are a major highlight of this year's festival. 

The opening concert saw Chinese and Japanese artists joining hands to perform the "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" – composed by John Williams for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics – along with Beethoven's No. 9 Symphony.

"As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are also around the corner, Japan was chosen as the festival's guest country of honor this year. Apart from the opening concert, a series of shows and activities will be presented, including a performance by the legendary Takarazuka Revue Company, a Japanese jazz concert and much more," said Tan Ziqiang, from China Arts and Entertainment Group.

From East to West, pop to traditional, opera to dance, and drama to exhibitions, this year's event has more than 60 cultural activities on offer. Visitors can expect an all-star New Year ballet gala, a performance from the Maria Paige Dance Company, and a piano recital by Richard Clayderman.

In addition to this year, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will remain a feature of the next two festivals.

"'Meet in Beijing' is an opportunity to connect with art from around the world and celebrate our own cultural heritage. So we have designed a number of public art education activities related to the Winter Olympics to provide a lavish and diverse choice of events, especially for the younger generations," Tan Ziqiang said.

After 20 years of evolution, Meet in Beijing has become a key platform for artists and art lovers from around the world to come together and share ideas. The festival will run til February 4 with a special ceremony marking the two-year countdown to the Beijing Games.