The 23rd Beijing Music Festival (BMF) came to a triumphant close on October 20 with a celebration of the 20th anniversary of China Philharmonic Orchestra’s founding. The concert, conducted by Long Yu – with the theme “We Were Born in 2000” – featured five 20-year-old star artists including violist Mingyue Yu, violinist Ruifeng Lin, cellist Nana Ouyang, pianist Xiaofu Ju, and countertenor Andy Shen Liu.
This year, BMF tackled the challenges of COVID-19 while simultaneously meeting the needs of the public through exceptional cultural offerings. The festival shifted to offering both online performances – through the BMF Club APP and select performances on BMF’s Facebook page – and offline channels in order to create a powerful and rich audio-visual experience that propels China and the world’s classical music industry forward. More than 178,000 people viewed the performances on Facebook and hundreds of thousands more accessed BMF content via the Club APP.
With the theme, “The Music Must Go On,” this year’s BMF presented an unprecedented 240 hours of non-stop, high-quality music over the course of 10 days including 2,000 pieces of music. For viewers, the 240-hour livestream meant a seamless connection between music and life, but for BMF, it meant a vast demand for audio and video copyrights. However, BMF believes securing copyrights is not only important to protect the economic interests of creators, but also to protect the artistic vitality of artists. By procuring all the copyrights, BMF sends a message that China has made particularly important contributions to the protection of intellectual property rights.
Highlights of the festival included the world premiere of Dedicated to 2020 — A Symphony for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra by Wuhan composer Ye Zou featuring Wuhan musicians, which represented a unification against the epidemic; a celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary which including performances of the composer’s ten violin sonatas by ten rising-star violinists, 32 piano sonatas, five piano concertos, and nine symphonies; a documentary in memory of conductor and composer Krzysztof Penderecki; the BMF debut of the Suzhou Chinese Orchestra; several concerts by the BMF Children Festival Orchestra; a children’s concert of Karen LeFrak’s Sleepover at the Museum; and ten Music at Noon concerts which combined live performance with radio in public venues.