The world really is mad — and I refer here both to our lot and the others… In politics we seem too often to fall into utter incompetence. I think particularly of our relations in the West with the now powerful China — back where it was centuries ago, perhaps, as a world hegemon — and I am not taking either side. All I know is that I have been able to speak heart to heart, person to person, with people from Mainland China just one mortal being to another. Is it that hard? Why is it that hard? How come our leaders so often seem so dumb?
Well, I do know that this music is superior to all their politicking….
The last two are part of a co-operation between the Carolina International Orchestra in Raleigh North Carolina and members of the China National Orchestra Touring North Carolina in 2013. I wonder if that orchestra is still going; their last Facebook post is 2016.
Since writing that (last night) I have found a back-story in a North Carolina newspaper (4 October 2013).
The opening concert of the new Carolina International Orchestra — with guest artists and conductor from the China National Orchestra — brought the house to its feet again and again Tuesday evening.
“Trans-Pacific Melodies,” an East-meets-West concert presented by this new orchestra, had its debut at Lee Auditorium Tuesday night. It was the first leg on a tour heading up the East Coast.
He Jianguo, permanent conductor of the Chinese orchestra, led performers playing both Western instruments like violins and violas and traditional Chinese instruments many in the audience were hearing for the first time — though the artists themselves are among the elite, at the top in their field.
This new orchestra — blending music, instruments and artists from East and West — is a joint venture begun by concert master Yang Xi and fellow violinist Jenny Zhou following the success of last spring’s first collaboration. In February, musicians from North Carolina hosted visiting Chinese instrumentalists in a series of concerts shared with musicians from the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra….
Ties between Moore County and China’s Hunan Province were forged in World War II when 2nd Lt. Robert Hoyle Upchurch, a Flying Tiger pilot from High Falls, lost his life in aerial combat helping China fight the Japanese invasion.
This concert, featuring its unique and international blend of musicians from China and the United States, is a legacy of that bond, as Blake said just before the Arts Council’s Chris Dunn welcomed the crowd.
“It is such an amazing story — you know he wrote home and said, ‘Don’t worry if I don’t make it home. I’m not married, and in two or three years you will forget me,’” Blake said. “The Chinese built a beautiful monument to him, and now the world knows Hoyle Upchurch.”
An organization dedicated to building cultural, educational and business links — the Carolina China Council — grew from these events. North Carolina and Hunan Province are sister states….
That there is nothing about the orchestra on FB since 2016 makes me wonder whether the Trump era was curtains for this wonderful cross-cultural project.
So I have done a little digging and note that North Carolina has a Democrat Governor, re-elected in 2020. The Carolina China Council was still active in 2019 at least.
On October 4, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper congratulated the opening of the 2019 Raleigh China Arts Festival by proclaiming September 29-October 5, 2019 as Carolina China Council and China Arts Festival tenth anniversary week. Secretary of State Mrs. Elaine Marshall attended the opening ceremony of the 2019 Raleigh China Arts Festival at the Fletcher Opera Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh and welcomed the world class performers to North Carolina in her opening remarks. Distinguished performers from China, Italy and the United States presented a two-hour world class musical gala to a full-house audience. Mrs. Kacy Hunt, Chairwoman of Raleigh Artsplosure which organizes the annual Raleigh Arts Festival, congratulated the success of this year’s Raleigh China Arts Festival. She is looking forward to a long-lasting partnership between Artsplosure and Carolina China Council to promote East-West exchanges of arts and culture.
Interesting — but nothing in the news section since 2019. COVID would no doubt have affected them.
Back to “The Music of the Night”
Yet another connection, as the competition “Super-Vocal” is from Hunan TV.
Super–Vocal (Chinese: 声入人心; pinyin: Shēng rù rénxīn) is a Chinese reality television created and produced by Hunan TV and iQiyi. It is a singing competition focused on classically trained singers, singing both operatic and musical pieces. It features 36 male singers, with six winners after a total of 100 days of training and filming. “Super-Vocal” Season 1 premiered on November 2, 2018, while Season 2 premiered on July 19, 2019.