ASO building community in China through music

ASO building community in China through music

A group of talented ASO musicians jetted off to China in August to perform The Bush Concertin the 34th China Harbin Summer Music Festival.

The invitation was extended after China's Consul and Cultural Attaché, Mr Yang enjoyed watching his wife Yafen perform in a Chinese New Year concert with the ASO.

The two performances showcased Australian talent in the form of the ASO musicians, Adelaide local Mark Ferguson, composer of the piece, and his wife Sarah Ferguson, who presented the show in Pin Yin. The ASO sees the trip as an opportunity to engage with the Chinese community and build cultural connections for future collaborations.

The Bush Concert is about the coming together of a community through music, while the performance itself is a real-life demonstration of the concept. The piece, developed around Australian content (flora and fauna), will also draw attention to the environmental issues — in particular drought — facing Australia. Based on the book by Australian author Helga Visser,The Bush Concertweaves the sounds of the Australian bush into Mark’s enchanting musical score, and will be performed by Lachlan Bramble, Michael Robertson, Gemma Philips, Dean Newcomb, Jackie Hansen, Ian Denbigh, Steven Peterka, Lisa Gill and Susan Ferguson. Three staff members will accompany the performers — Simon Lord (Artistic), David Khafagi (Production), Michele Zhuang (Translation).

The Bush Concert was developed in 2015 for the ASO’s Learning program, and in 2017, it was picked up by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and broadcast to thousands of school children in NSW.

Harbin, like Adelaide, has been recognised by UNESCO as a Music City. The city has hosted the biennial Harbin Summer Music concert since 1958 (except during the Cultural Revolution), and China’s oldest symphony orchestra and first music school were established here.The festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and Harbin Municipal Government.

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