The budding talents of the National Youth Orchestra of Germany enjoy a very good international reputation. This summer, they are going to China to give five concerts. There is great excitement on both sides.
At 10 pm on Thursday July 17 in Tübingen University's new auditorium, the audience rose as one after the final movement of Maurice Ravel's "La Valse" and gave the young musicians a standing ovation.
This was a good sign because in a sense the concert was a dress rehearsal for a later performance the German youth orchestra is giving in Shanghai on Friday.
Music fans in Beijing, Zhengzhou and Macau will also have a chance to hear them play.
Despite their young age (from 14 to 19 mostly) all the musicians of Germany's national youth orchestra are professionals. They all proved themselves in national and international competitions before coming to the orchestra.
All of them - young and old - were excited about their trip to China. Joshua Litz, an 18-year-old drummer, was very enthusiastic: "I'm a big architecture fan. I'll surely be fascinated by all the different styles of buildings. And I'm really looking forward to the food."
Bundestag President Norbet Lammert is the patron of the China tour. He thinks the young musicians' trip is especially important in light of the anniversary of 40 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and China.
Music is a bridge
Project head Sönke Lentz says that music can act as a bridge: "Apart from the concerts in which we'll be representing our country, cooperation with youths will also play an important role." A joint concert with the Macau Youth Orchestra has also been planned.
One of the orchestra's main goals is to promote the artistic talents of teenagers. It provides youths with a support structure but also teaches them to support others. Thus, they can gain experience of a world language that overcomes all barriers.
The young oboist Raphael Klockenbusch is certain that the orchestra's performance will reach the hearts of the Chinese audiences and make them beat a little faster.
The 19-year-old concert master Julia Knapp is one of the few in the orchestra who has already toured China. Although she was only 11 she still remembers that "the people were extremely friendly and the enthusiasm of the audience was amazing." She is looking forward to seeing what changes China has undergone since.
It is not only the Germans who are enthusiastic about the tour - the Chinese hosts are also very excited.
The opening concert at Shanghai Oriental Art Center sold out a long time ago. However, those who weren't able to get hold of tickets or can't make it to China will have a chance to catch up on the young musicians' impressions at DW.DE where they will be updating their blogs regularly.
Author: Xiegong Fischer / act
Editor: Sarah Berning