Exhibition celebrates an outstanding soprano

Yang Meiping
Museum tells the story of Jiang Ying on the 100th anniversary of her birth, her international career and her return to China to teach many singers who later became famous.
Yang Meiping
Exhibition celebrates an outstanding soprano
Dong Jun / SHINE

The piano used by Jiang Ying is among the exhibits at the exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth.

An exhibition at the Qian Xuesen Library and Museum commemorates Qian’s wife Jiang Ying, an outstanding soprano and teacher, on the 100th anniversary of her birth.

The exhibition, which will run till the end of October, tells Jiang’s story with more than 110 exhibits and over 200 photos.

Jiang was the third daughter of Jiang Baili, a famous modern military theorist and educator in China. She was born in Beijing but moved to Shanghai with her parents in 1924.

At the end of 1935, she went to Europe as her father was to visiting Europe and America as a senior consultant of the Republic of China's military commission. 

She took singing lessons from famous German singer Herman Weissenborn between 1937 and 1942. 

During World War II, she moved to Switzerland in 1943 and became a student of Hungarian singer Ilona Durigo, learning German art songs and oratorio.

In 1944, she began to learn opera from German operatic soprano Emmy Krüger.

She returned to China in 1946 and shot to fame with concerts in Shanghai and Hangzhou.

She married Qian, a famous Chinese physicist, in 1947 and moved to America soon after.

The couple returned to China in 1955 where Jiang began a career at the Central Experimental Opera House and later taught at the Central Conservatory of Music.

Among the exhibits is a piano bought for Jiang by Qian as a wedding gift and shipped back to China when they returned.

Jiang was regarded as an authority in vocal music in China and many of her students have become famous singers.

Fluent in English, German, French, Italian and Russian, she translated many songs by famous composers, including Schubert, Schumann and Brahms, and was known for her research into musical theory. 

Jiang died in Beijing on February 5, 2012 at the age of 92.

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