Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai, co-authors of "Rhapsody in Red: How Western Classical Music Became Chinese?", will talk about the Western and Chinese heroes who made a Chinese art form out of classical music. Many of the world's top classical musicians are ethnic Chinese, and Beijing is becoming a major center of classical music performance, yet very few people understand how Western classical music developed in China. This talk will focus on influential figures in this development, including Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, Italian conductor Mario Paci, and Chinese musicians such as Xian Xinghai, Li Delun and Tan Dun.

Some CDs of music including those pieces made during the Cultural Revolution will be played for appreciation. And the book will be available for purchase.

Mr. Cai, a Beijing native, is a conductor and a professor of music at Stanford University. Ms. Melvin,a former Beijing resident, writes about music and the arts in China for a number of publications.
  • Some interesting stories and figures speakers will mention include:

    -The two longest reigning emperors in Chinese history (Kangxi and Qianlong) were also students of Western classical music
    -A wandering Italian pianist and conductor named Mario Paci built the Shanghai Symphony up into the "best orchestra in the Far East" during the 1920s and 1930s.
    -American General George C. Marshall visited the Communist base of Yanan in 1946 and was entertained with an unaccompanied Bach Cello Suite.
    -And many interesting stories on the classical music during the Cultural Revolution.
    -analysis of the reasons why classical music took root here and look ahead at its prospects in the future. 

    Venue: China Culture Center, Beijing, China.

  • CCC does not offer regular set packages for this class. However we are happy to help you plan a private custom-made one. Please scroll this web page down to check non-negotiable fixed prices and propose a date for your own group. Please note that we do not create a private class or workshop and then make it available for individual people to join. We also do not contact other people to add to a group tour. Similarly, we can create custom-made private activities or events for you and your family or friends or co-workers at set-prices.