In the evening of 25 March, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted a symphony concert as part of Tasmania’s art festival - Ten Days on the Island. Performing its only concert in the south of the state at Federation Concert Hall, their tour to Tasmania follows a visit to the city of Xiamen by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra earlier this year. Attendees, both young and old, and from the Chinese and Western community filled the hall to enjoy a concert by one of the world’s most dynamic and prestigious orchestras. Some members from Tasmanian Chinese Buddhist Academy of Australia also attended.
With a unique repertoire that marries the Chinese aesthete with western compositional techniques, the audience were first treated to Symphony No. 8 “Chen Jiageng” written by Wang Ning. This is a musical representation of Tan KahKee’s life, with the audience carried through a symphonic performance of musical language, philosophical speculation and deep emotion. Selected movements from “Sketches of Taiwan” were also showcased, depicting folk customs and sings the native tunes of Taiwan through original and adaptive, lyrical and sketchy, localised and internationalised elements.
The performances were very well-received, with standing ovation by the audience bringing Conductor Fu back to the stage four times. Another climax was reached when Conductor Fu interacted with the audience during the encore songs, in particular, during the Australian classic - Waltzing Matilda, and a crowd favourite - Can Can.
The Academy is privileged to support this event, as it gives yet another opportunity for westerners, and those of us who have left Home, a reminiscence of China’s rich history in arts and culture.