Chinese classical music charms northeast U.S. audience
CGTN

A concert by the China National Traditional Orchestra (CNTO) held in the northeast U.S. state of New Jersey on Tuesday, has enthralled thousands of spectators with music and performing skills.

On Tuesday night, New Jersey Performing Arts Center located in downtown Newark, was packed with local Americans and overseas Chinese who braved the chilly and rainy weather to come and appreciate "Xuanzang's Pilgrimage", a work featuring the legendary Chinese Monk Xuanzang's journey along the Silk Road to obtain Buddhist scriptures in the 7th century.

Demonstrated by top performers of traditional Chinese musical instruments such as pipa, a pear-shaped fretted instrument, huqin, the Chinese two-stringed fiddle, bamboo flute, the symphonies brought back to life the arduous and glorious journey of Xuanzang through desolate deserts and precipitous cliffs, which took him 17 years.

Performers play traditional Chinese musical instruments at the concert in New Jersey, U.S., January 29, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Performers play traditional Chinese musical instruments at the concert in New Jersey, U.S., January 29, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

"This is really exceptional," said Carlos, who came with his wife and daughter from a neighboring city. "The instruments themselves are so unique that I've never seen before, and their performances have shown a high level of professionalism."

The ensemble also performed some classic Chinese pieces such as "A Night of Flowers and Moonlight by the Spring River" and Xintianyou, a folk music style from northwest China's Shaanxi Province, moving some Chinese audience to tears when listening to the familiar melodies.

The audience gave a sustained standing ovation with loud cheers when the final piece concluded, to which the musicians responded with two encores, including the jubilant "Blooming Flowers and Full Moon".

Artists Niu Jiandang (Front-L) and Feng Mantian (Front-C) play traditional Chinese musical instruments at the concert in New Jersey, U.S., January 29, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Artists Niu Jiandang (Front-L) and Feng Mantian (Front-C) play traditional Chinese musical instruments at the concert in New Jersey, U.S., January 29, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Founded in Beijing in 1960, the CNTO has won wide acclaim by highlighting traditional Chinese musical themes while incorporating modern technologies into its productions.

The concert came to the United States as a part of Image China, a high-level cultural exchange program presented by the China Arts and Entertainment Group. A concert drama, also named "Xuanzang's Pilgrimage," performed by the CNTO, made its U.S. debut last week in Washington, D.C.

(Cover: Artists Wang Ciheng (L) and Zhao Cong perform at the concert in New Jersey, U.S., January 29, 2019. /Xinhua Photo)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency