Aesthetic education alliance to sow seeds of art
Veteran musicians, singers and stage performers will partner to introduce fine arts to schools and communities.
The aesthetic education alliance was initiated by the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, gathering education experts, teachers and some 40 artistic organizations, who will use the alliance as a resource-sharing platform.
Art students from East China Normal University and Shanghai Conservatory of Music will be offered internship opportunities by the Oriental Art Center. Artistic performance showcases will also be organized regularly by alliance members.
Famed musicians and stage performers, including cellist Wang Jian, French violinist Renaud Capuçon, Kunqu Opera master Zhang Jun, and Musical actor Zheng Yunlong, were named ambassadors and promoters of the alliance.
Bel canto singers Song Gang, Yu Di and Wang Zhida have been named musical instructors, and will give lessons in school and communities, and take part in other activities organized by the alliance.
"Aesthetic education is very important for youngsters," cellist Wang Jian said at the alliance's establishment ceremony.
"My father is a cellist, so I'm blessed with an artistic phenomenon since childhood. But for children whose parents are not musicians, to introduce aesthetic education from a young age is crucial."
The Shanghai native returned to his hometown at the end of last year to perform and teach at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
"Art can teach a child self-respect, and then respect for others," said Wang. "Once you find a connection with art, life will become more meaningful."
Violinist Capuçon also addressed the importance of early aesthetic education.
"I found my connection with music when my parents took me to a summer music festival held in the mountains. None of them were musicians," said Capuçon.
"Art is open to all people, but not everyone can find the entrance at the very beginning. I'm also the instructor of some artistic festivals and activities in France, and my mission was to introduce fine music to people who are not familiar with it.
"To popularize art is to sow the seeds of dream."
Capuçon became the first overseas musician to step onto the stage of the Shanghai Oriental Art Center in more than three years after giving his recital on Friday evening.
Accompanied by pianist Guillaume Bellom, the pair performed classic violin sonatas by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and César Franck.
The programs featured strong French traditions and tastes, allowing the full range of the violinist's mature skills.