With great shows featuring traditional Chinese culture, performance of the Grand Chinese New Year Concert in Austria over the past more than 10 years has significantly contributed to promoting cultural exchanges between China and the European country.
Traditional Chinese orchestras have presented a sample of their rich music tradition in Austria on Chinese New Year's Day since 1998. This year, the Grand Chinese New Year Concert will be played in Linz in Upper Austria, and in Erl in Tyrol.
The Chinese lunar year of the monkey in 2016 will be heralded by the Traditional Chinese Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater (CNODDT). The orchestra will be playing at the Festspielhaus Erl in Tyrol on Jan. 31 and at the Brucknerhaus in Linz the following day. The Artistic Director of the Brucknerhaus, Hans-Joachim Frey, will personally lead through the program and will introduce traditional Chinese solo instruments like erhu or pipa.
Hong Xia is permanent conductor at the CNODDT and has great experience in traditional as well as classical symphonic music. The internationally active artist will familiarize Austrians with pieces like "The Colorful Bouquet," "The New Song of the Ranchers" or "Spring Festival Overture."
She is one of the few women conducting big orchestras at famous European concert halls.
The tickets for the events sell enormously fast and have been sold out for a long time, Alexander Busche, Manager of the Tyrolean Festival Erl, told Xinhua.
"There is a special interest in exotic folk music in the Alpine regions, maybe due to the regional folk music tradition here," Busche said.
The cultural exchanges between Tyrol and China are not one-sided. Last October the Tyrolean Festival Erl performed works by Richard Wagner at the Beijing Music Festival.
Conductor and Artistic Director Gustav Kuhn has been recognized for his performance in "Tristan and Isolde" and "Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg." It was also the first time in China that these operas were performed scenically.
"We are looking forward to having a lively exchange and a pleasant contact," Buscher told Xinhua.
The birthplace of the concert format is Vienna's prestigious Musikverein, where the famous Vienna New Year's Concert takes place.
In 1998, Zezhou Wu, who had presented Viennese music in China the years before, tried for the first time to bring Chinese music to Vienna. Every year a committee of music experts will select a traditional Chinese orchestra for the tour. The "Grand Chinese New Year Concert" has become one of the most successful concert formats worldwide.