by Xinhua writers Liu Yanan, Wang Jiangang
NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- A concert featuring traditional Chinese culture was held here at Lincoln Center on Saturday night, attracting about 700 U.S. visitors from various walks of life.
Involving artists from Suzhou City in East China's Jiangsu province, the event was a showcase for intangible cultural heritage. Fifteen singers from 10 countries and the Philadelphia Orchestra also presented poems from ancient China's Tang Dynasty.
The concert, themed "Echoes of Ancient Tang Poems," was to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year and deepen cultural exchanges between China and the United States, organizers said.
Ancient poems from Tang Dynasty combine Chinese people's thoughts on the fate of mankind and the value of life, China's permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun said at the reception before the concert.
The event offers a new interpretation of poetry masterpieces from Tang Dynasty and showcases the interaction between Eastern and Western civilizations, he added.
"This evening's ensemble embodies what it means to cross cultures and to build bridges among communities. I can think of no more important messages for diplomacy today than those of connection, understanding, and appreciation," said UN General Assembly President Csaba Korosi in an address to the concert.
Ray Dalio, founder of top-ranking hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, also attended the event.
"I'm very excited that the Philadelphia Orchestra has been going to China and had a good relationship for the last 50 years. I think it represents a cultural exchange that also connects people and connects culture in a very important way," said Dalio on the sidelines of the opening ceremony.
The vocalists performing the new works had visited Suzhou during the pandemic to better understand Chinese culture. Their creative presentation of ancient poems won waves of applause at the concert.
"The blend of poetry and music was intensely evocative of themes of the Lunar New Year: home, longing, love, loss, and friendship," said David B. Austell, associate provost and executive director of the International Students and Scholars Office at Columbia University.
"Our vision for the future is that we're really looking forward to going back to China soon. We have deep relationships with many great Chinese artists," said Matias Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
A similar performance in Philadelphia attracted more than 2,000 visitors on Friday night.
The cultural exchange and harmonization between the East and the West makes the world so special and "the opportunity to experience this amazing approach to beauty, to nature and to everything that we bring to life through art and culture is so exciting," said James B. Heimowitz, president of China Institute, a U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to deeper understanding of China. ■