|Peter Herrndorf, CEO of Canada's National Arts Center. Photo (China Daily)|
On a Monday afternoon at Fragrant Hills (Xiangshan), tourists unexpectedly met a brass quintet playing Bach and Brahms.
Wednesday morning, people at Beijing Zoo came across a brass trio playing near the pandas. They are all musicians with Canada's National Arts Center Orchestra who are on the first tour to China in its 44-year-history.
"Fragrant Hills is famous for its maple leaves, which is the symbol of Canada. As for the panda, it is loved by people all over the world and China has sent two pandas to Canada as gifts," says Mary E. Hofstetter, consulting director of music education, NAC Orchestra, explaining why they chose these two particular places to stage pop-up concerts.
After the warm-up events, the NAC Orchestra will give a concert at Tsinghua University on Wednesday and a concert at the National Center for the Performing Arts under the baton of its music director Pinchas Zukerman on Oct 17. The maestro, who is first a violinist, will play Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No 1, a work for which he received a rave review from the New York Times this year.
From Oct 4 to 21, 70 musicians from the orchestra will visit schools and concert halls in Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Chongqing, Fuling city in Chongqing and Shanghai, to present a multitude of education and outreach activities.
On Monday, Zukerman gave a master class at the Central Conservatory of Music while other musicians coached the brass orchestra of Beijing No 2 Middle School.
On the morning of Oct 17, they will give a special high-definition video concert at NCPA, linking the Stellae Boreales Violin Ensemble, which is performing in Ottawa, and the students from the Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music who will be playing in Beijing.