The Grand Chinese New Year Concert is today one of the most successful unconventional concert formats worldwide. Since 1998, it was held in some 27 countries and 25 capital cities worldwide, reaching over 200.000 listeners. It has written a success story all over Europe and above, forming an integral part of today’s international concert calendar. Year after year, more concerts are presented in order to meet the growing demand of local audiences to experience the beauty of traditional Chinese music.
Over the last twenty-three years, the Beijing-based international performing arts agency Wu Promotion has organized some 170 events on 4 continents. For its 20th anniversary in 2017, 27 remarkable concerts performed by 4 different orchestras took place on various continents, from the Silk Road tour through Middle Eastern countries, over Russia and the Baltics, to finally all over Europe.
Every year during the period of the Chinese Spring Festival, China’s most acclaimed traditional orchestras present a sample of the colorful domestic musical tradition in some of the most renowned venues of the bouncing metropolises of the West. It all started in the Musikverein in Vienna in 1998 when a traditional Chinese orchestra gave The Grand New Year Concert for the very first time in Europe, while on the other side, in China, millions of Chinese watched the live broadcast at home on TV.
The Grand Chinese New Year Concert has been designed to enrich the cultural exchange between East and West and to bring Chinese traditional music with a history of more than 3,000 years to the world stages. After more than twenty years of annual concert tours, the concert tour has not only established an exemplary musical tradition but also contributed to the recognition of Chinese music as an essential element of the global musical heritage.
In order to make the Western audience develop an understanding for Chinese music, a local moderator leads through the diverse concert program, introducing solo instruments like Erhu or Pipa and explaining the background of orchestral pieces or the meaning of the lyrics of a vocal performance. By explaining the meaning of musical traditions, by telling stories around the music that the audience will hear, the concert aims to connect the East to the West and create a better mutual understanding.
Through listening to Chinese traditional music, audiences will discover the strong tie that this music has with Chinese culture in its entireness. The concert wants to build a connection and bridge towards cultural understanding and finally create a space for exchange. The audience will be able to feel the long and deep history of music culture of China being not only exotic for Western ears, but also filled with warm and colorful sounds, harmony and beauty. Asian traditional music is nowadays increasingly welcomed as a resource for contemporary music in the Western music world. The Grand Chinese New Year Concert will make ears and eyes enjoy Chinese traditional instruments and music which are rarely played outside of China.