China's first female conductor leads a master class

Updated: Feb 9, 2023 By Chen Nan Print
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Zheng, born in 1929, is the first female conductor in China.[Photo provided to]

"Music is an auditory art. Whoever is able to appreciate music enjoys its beautiful serenity, a sense of compassion and consolation, or a spirit of encouragement and enterprise, even inspiration, insight, and imagination, which, in turn, forge a great view of the human life," said Chinese conductor Zheng Xiaoying during her online speech at The Harmony Academy, a series of artistic master classes co-presented by the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States on Feb 5.

Zheng, born in 1929, is the first female conductor in China. She was the chief conductor of the China National Opera House and formed and conducted the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra. She was the former director of the Conducting Department of the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. Now, she is devoted to popularizing opera with her Zheng Xiaoying Opera Center headquartered in Xiamen, Fujian province.

In her speech, Zheng said that she cannot rest because from the moment that she became a musician, she believes that "the purpose of music is to serve the people".

In her speech, she introduced her music path, shared her story of studying western music and her vision for the classical music scene in China, especially her views on younger generation Chinese musicians.

The speech was given by Zheng in English.

The Harmony Academy features five guest artists showcasing Chinese culture and traditions, including pianist Zheng Yin, conductor Cai Jindong and dulcimer virtuoso Tan Chao.

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