WELLINGTON, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Third China-New Zealand Arts Festival kicked off in New Zealand's capital Wellington on Thursday night, with a music concert held successfully as a centerpiece of the event.
Played by Chinese and New Zealand artists together, the concert -- the China National Symphony Orchestra Forbidden City String Quartet with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) Guests Concert -- featured programs of Chinese and Western musical works, such as "The Butterfly Lovers," "Death and the Maiden," and "Piano Quintet in A Major."
The musicians also presented "Whakatipua for String Quartet," created by a New Zealand composer, and "Me and My Country" by a Chinese composer, which won warm applause from the audience.
Wang Xiaolong, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand, said at the event that the concert is another example of the cultural exchanges and people-to-people affinity between the two countries.
Zhou Yu, secretary of the China National Symphony Orchestra Party Committee, said he believes the Chinese artists' visit will contribute to further cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between China and New Zealand.
The opportunity to make music together is always an opportunity to engage in dialogue and cultural exchange, which leads to greater understanding, said Peter Biggs, Chief Executive of New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Pianist Jian Liu, one of the performers of the concert, hoped that this festival will continue to create opportunities for artistic collaboration between China and New Zealand, bringing authentic cultural voices to the audience.
"Cultural dialogue between professional artists creates mutual understanding and inspiration, and music, the universal language, acts as a perfect medium to engage this communication," said Liu, also a Trustee of New Zealand Music Trust.
Jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, China National Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, China Cultural Center in Wellington, New Zealand Music Trust, and Flying Dog Artistic Management NZ, the festival aims to deepen understanding between the two countries and enhance bilateral friendship and cultural exchanges. ■