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Culture

Beethoven Festival Features Chinese Musicians

On Friday, the month-long Beethoven Festival starts in Bonn. Among the musicians flying in from all over the world to perform are a group of young musicians from China.

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Beethoven Denkmal in Bonn, Ludwig van Beethoven

With more than fifty concerts, the Beethoven festival -- like in years past -- will concentrate on a particular theme. This year, the music of Bohemia and Moravia will be the focus. According to the organizers of the festival, that choice was inspired by both the Czech Republic's recent entry into the EU and the 100th anniversary of the death of Antonin Dvorak.

Chinese orchestra special guests

Along with the music of Bohemia and Moravia, the festival will also offer the opportunity to hear the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music's orchestra. The latter's appearance is part of the "Orchestracampus" initiative, a music workshop organized in cooperation with the Chinese conservatory. In the past, university orchestras from Kiev, Istanbul and Tiblisi have been invited to perform.

"In addition to the purely Beethoven aspect of the festival, this festival is an opportunity for us to foster international relations in the music world," Ilona Schmiel, director of the festival told DW-WORLD.

At a series of concerts in the Beethoven Hall in Bonn, the 80-strong orchestra will perform works by Beethoven and Liszt. The conservatory students will also have the opportunity to improve their craft: they will participate in a workshop directed by the famous German conductor Peter Gülke.

Reaching an international audience

The young Chinese pianist Yun Di Li will be among the workshops participants. He won the first prize at this year's Warsaw Chopin competition, thereby becoming one of the world's most sought after musicians.

And with the increasing presence of foreign-born musicians like Li, the Beethoven Festival is taking on an increased international profile. That, said Schmiel, is precisely the point. "From a programming perspective, we are already very international thanks to the artists who come to us from all over the world," she said. "In the coming years, we plan to concentrate more on reaching an international audience.

Deutsche Welle is the media sponsor of the event.

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