Concert tour to celebrate Kazakh and Chinese friendship

A concert of works composed by late Chinese musician Xian Xinghai was staged at the Shanghai Poly Grand Theater recently by the Kazakhstan National Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ti Gong

A concert of works composed by late famous Chinese musician Xian Xinghai is staged in the Shanghai Poly Grand Theater recently by the Kazakhstan National Philharmonic Orchestra.

A concert of works composed by late Chinese musician Xian Xinghai was staged at the Shanghai Poly Grand Theater recently by the Kazakhstan National Philharmonic Orchestra.

The concert is part of a performance tour sponsored by the China National Arts Fund to celebrate the friendship between China and Kazakhstan as neighbors.

The tour includes 28 cities in China, with Shanghai being the eighth stop.

Born in Macau in 1905, Xian studied violin and piano at the then-Shanghai-based National Conservatory of Music, now the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

In 1929, he went to Paris to continue his study and was admitted to the Paris Conservatory in 1934 as the first Chinese student to learn senior composition.

He returned to China in 1935 and used his music as a weapon to protest the Japanese invasion. During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945), he wrote vocal works that encouraged Chinese people to fight the Japanese invaders. His well-known works include “Saving the Nation,” “Song of Guerrillas,” and the famous “Yellow River Cantata” and “Production Cantata.”

In 1942 he was in Alma-Ata, which used to be an important town on the ancient Silk Road and is now capital of Kazakhstan, when the Germans invaded the former Soviet Union. When he was suffering from poverty and illness, Bakhytzhan Baikadamov, a Kazakh musician, took him in and encouraged him.

Xian created a lot of new works during his stay in Alma-Ata and also collected and rehashed many Kazakh folk songs, spreading them around China and using them to encourage the Kazakhs and Chinese to fight against fascism.

The concert presented nine of the songs, including “Yellow River Cantata” and “Amangeldy,” a song based on the story of Kazakh hero Amangeldy.

Xian’s daughter, Xian Nina, watched the performance with consuls-general of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan and their wives, as well as local officials.

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