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2022 Youth Music Culture Guangdong Announced


Highlights include playing music, discussing the current situation and the future of musicians during this period of unprecedented global change and more.

2022 Youth Music Culture Guangdong Announced

In what has become a hallmark cross-cultural event held annually in Guangzhou, China, the sixth Youth Music Culture Guangdong (YMCG) - presented by the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong Province together with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra (GSO) and Xinghai Concert Hall - will take place both online and in person from January 16 to 23, 2022.

Renowned cellist and YMCG Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma, GSO Music Director and Chairman of the YMCG Artistic Committee Long Yu, celebrated conductor Michael Stern, the eminent Shanghai Quartet, and other major figures in the classical music scene will appear during 2022 YMCG. Highlights include playing music, discussing the current situation and the future of musicians during this period of unprecedented global change, and sharing how artists can radiate passion from their lives and create art that reflects the spirit of the times.

2022 YMCG will be presented in front of the world in a comprehensive hybrid format - online and in-person. Over the course of seven consecutive days - from January 16 to 23 - eight concerts will be held in three different spaces of Xinghai Concert Hall, showing YMCG's vitality and innovation in different forms including symphonic and chamber music concerts, in addition to master classes open to the public. Yo-Yo Ma will also participate in a performance virtually by video.

Opening and Closing Concerts: Tracing the Mountains and Rivers, Exploring the Stars

The 2022 YMCG Opening Concert on January 16 will be staged in the Symphony Hall of Xinghai Concert Hall. Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra Principal Conductor and Guangzhou Youth Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jing Huan presents a combined program that includes the fourth movement (Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity) from Gustav Holst's The Planets Suite, Op.32, Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals, and Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome.

The closing concert will be held on the evening of January 23, when YMCG Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma will give a speech via video from Boston. The concert also invites young musicians who are currently in China who have participated in previous YMCG events and three groups of young string quartets from the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra to form the YMCG Symphony Orchestra. Performing Beethoven's Sixth "Pastoral" Symphony, the orchestra will bring out themes of man and nature. Next, Yo-Yo Ma joins the orchestra via video to perform Antonin Dvořák's "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka - a poignant reminder that music has the power to connect one another, even when separated by an epidemic.

Chamber Music: The Shanghai Quartet

Chamber music education and performance is one of the major traditions of YMCG. From 2017 to 2020, numerous world-class chamber musicians have worked intimately with students on everything from classical masterworks to improvisational performance. The members of the world-renowned Shanghai Quartet are the instructors of the chamber music portion of this year's YMCG. Established in 1983 at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Shanghai Quartet has held nearly 3,000 concerts in 35 countries and regions and has recorded 35 albums. In 2020, the Shanghai Quartet began teaching at the Tianjin Juilliard School.

During 2022 YMCG, the Shanghai Quartet will use the Beethoven String Quartets as the basis for their residency working with three groups of quartets composed of young musicians from three top Chinese orchestras - the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. To begin, three master classes will be held in the Xinghai Concert Hall on the afternoons of January 16, 18, and 19, attracting observers from the public. On the evenings of January 18, 19, and 20, the Shanghai Quartet will hold three Beethoven String Quartet concerts with the young quartets in the Chamber Hall of Xinghai Concert Hall. The master classes will be broadcast simultaneously.

Community Outreach: A Walk into the City

In previous YMCGs, Yo-Yo Ma often reminded the students, "Play music and don't forget the way you came." Just like literary and visual artistic works, music comes from, and is inspired by, the lives of people. 2022 YMCG continues the tradition once again by entering the city, drawing inspiration from the cultural roots of Guangzhou city, and giving back to the city the feelings, souls, and warmth of the musicians. Specific locations for the community outreach will be announced later.

Global Discussion: Guangzhou-Hong Kong-New York-Boston

In 2021, affected by the realities of the global pandemic, YMCG 2021 was held online in the form of a "special project." At that time, this brand new and successful attempt was one of the few international music events that could be held under the raging epidemic. The 1.63 million views at home and abroad left a strong mark in the history of YMCG.

In 2022, YMCG will once again host an online discussion - uniting musicians from around the world in solidarity. On January 21, Yo-Yo Ma in Boston, Michael Stern in New York, and Long Yu in Hong Kong will meet online simultaneously with those in Guangzhou. The Shanghai Quartet, all the members of the YMCG Orchestra, GSO President Chen Qing, conductor Jing Huan, and others will all attend virtually in real time to hold a lively event with the theme, "Music Unbounded: Current and Future-Oriented Musicians and Musical Life." The discussion will explore how musicians, especially young ones, can maintain integrity and innovate in the present and future when opportunities and challenges coexist under the unprecedented global changes.

Please visit the official website at for more information. The five concerts will be available to view across the world on YMCG's Facebook channel after the performances take place.

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