Melbourne hosts Chinese New Year concert for 6th consecutive year
By Wang Wei
Chinese New Year festivities are going strong in Melbourne, as the city down under is hosting a New Year concert for a sixth consecutive year. With top-notch musicians showcasing their talents, the concert was met with much acclaim on Thursday evening.
The concert opened with a stellar performance by Hanggai, a seven-piece band from northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Toting horse-head fiddles and electric guitars, the artists presented a string of hits from their 14-year history, including "The Rising Sun," "Wild Geese," "The Cycle of Life" and "Shanghai Semi-Conductor."
"Our show features a wide spectrum of elements. You can find traditional, ethnic, rock and roll, and even orchestral sounds. It is a blend of the East and West. With our music, we want to facilitate the dialogue between peoples," said Ilchi, leader of Hanggai Band.
Another highlight of the night was a cello concerto titled "Wolf." Holding the baton was Tan Dun, an internationally-acclaimed composer. The work was inspired by "Wolf Totem," a popular fiction in China. It delves into the relation between nature and humanity.
"We've always tried to surprise our audience. The most refreshing feature of the show is the creativity of Chinese music. It allows Australian music lovers to appreciate our history and beliefs. Moreover, I think the show is a celebration of the creativity of all human beings," said renowned musician Tan Dun.
"[Tan Dun] understands the orchestra better that anyone, but then he brings all of this other stuff from his cultural background and his enormous experience with music; it's a great thing to be part of," said cellist Nicholas Bochner.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Melbourne has mounted a concert to mark the Chinese New Year. And the Thursday evening show drew an audience of more than 2,000.