The Shanghai Orchestra Academy is visited by EUYO Members

Young European Musicians and SOA Students Engage in Musical and Cultural Exchanges At the Orchestra

SHANGHAI, Nov. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Over ten members of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) paid a visit to Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) from October 23 to 27, 2017. During the five-day visit, young musicians from several European countries performed alongside SOA students in rehearsals and concerts. In addition, SOA organized a series of cultural events, giving European visitors extraordinary opportunities to learn Chinese customs and traditions. []

Championed by the Artistic Engagement Program-China, (AEP-China), an innovative cultural program jointly supported by Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and Volkswagen Group China, SSO music director and SOA founder and President Yu Long and EUYO CEO Marshall Marcus agreed on goals of the collaborative effort - allowing young Chinese and European music talents to deepen understandings of and engage in communications around topics of each other's cultures whilst participating in musical exchanges.

After getting over initial shyness and restraint about communicating in a language other than their own, the SOA students soon relaxed and started sharing insights into music with EUYO members who had boundless energy. These self-assigned guides took EUYO's new arrivals to Chinese restaurants where they sampled local delicacies as well as to the Shanghai Museum and the newly opened Shanghai Symphony Museum, giving them chances to experience many aspects of Chinese culture which is replete with traditions dating back thousands of years. "We found that our students had significantly enhanced their social skills after they spent several days together. This was the goal that we had when planning the events: expecting the students to develop their own music inspiration through exchanges and to understand the differences in each other's through cultural exchanges." SOA's Academic Affairs Director Ted Jiang said.

Wang Gang, percussion student of SOA Class 2017, performed Reich's Drumming with three EUYO musicians at the concert. Wang said, "These days, we exchanged ideas of music, talked about cultural customs and learned a little bit of each other's languages. We hope that the memories and the friendship brought about by the music can create more cultural value."

The interaction between the members of EUYO and SOA was something natural and spontaneous, with the joint concert held on October 27 the culmination of the week's effort. The future symphony stars from EUYO and SOA jointly performed selected works by Mozart, Ravel and Tchaikovsky, bringing audiences to a standing ovation. In appreciation of the enthusiastic applause, they performed An Enchanted Night as an encore in a novel way by adding wind instruments to the traditional stringed music version, a piece very familiar to Chinese audiences. "This was a very interesting attempt and, through the new version, they delivered a perfect combination of Chinese and European music traditions," SOA's executive director Doug He said.

After years of deliberation and planning, AEP-China was officially launched in April of this year, in a move to stage high quality music concerts and other artistic events throughout the country, bringing together and connecting young people through the allure of music, as well as build an international platform creating more diversified development opportunities for young students of music across China. AEP-China is an innovative cultural program developed by Volkswagen Group China as part of its PACE (Participation, Connection, Education and Exchange) cultural initiative. Guided by the AEP-China framework, SSO and Volkswagen aim to convene and connect young people in China and inspire and engage them in art world through the charm of music by hosting two-year music programs and interactive experience events throughout the country.

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