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Famed Russian orchestra to perform in China to tune culmination of cultural intersection

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Famed Russian orchestra to perform in China to tune culmination of cultural intersection

2024-05-16 14:38 Last Updated At:20:47

The renowned Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra is gearing up for a joint concert with Chinese musicians as part of their Beijing tour, an event that will kick off the two-year China-Russia cultural exchange period and coincides with President Putin's current state visit to China.

The esteemed 105-year-old Russian orchestra, which is included in Putin's delegation this time, aims to foster the musical exchange between the two nations via their upcoming performance in Beijing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing early Thursday morning. He will pay a state visit to China from Thursday to Friday.

The orchestra features a variety of traditional Russian instruments, such as the gusli, which dates back to 591 AD, and the balalaika, known as the "Russian guitar".

In anticipation of their tour, the members of the Osipov orchestra had diligently rehearsed, aiming to deliver an outstanding performance for Chinese audiences by playing renowned Chinese pieces with Russian folk instruments.

"We got a call informing us that the Chinese side wants us to take part in a concert. Naturally, we wouldn't turn down such an invitation. I feel really happy and proud knowing we'll be the ones to perform at the concert," said Vladimir Andropov, chief conductor of the Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra.

Over its century-long history, the orchestra has toured countries like France, Germany, and the United States, but China holds a special place for it. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the musicians of the orchestra collaborated with their Chinese counterparts for online concerts, presenting top-tier music to audiences in both countries.

"We recorded our part, and the Chinese orchestra recorded theirs. Once professionally edited, it created the impression of a joint performance," said Alena Tropoleva, principal domra performer in the orchestra.

In the forthcoming concert, musicians from China and Russia will use their own folk instruments to present the classic compositions of the other country. Notably, the two countries' instruments share similarities in both appearance and sound. For example, gusli, one of the oldest Russian stringed instruments, closely resembles the traditional Chinese instrument Guzheng.

"This is a string instrument, which was modified to its present form in the late 19th century. It's an old gusli with a very long history. I believe the concert this time will be intriguing and novel, as we have never had such a form of performance before. The intersection of cultures is always interesting," said Alla Dogadova, a gusli performer in the orchestra.

Upon reaching Beijing, the Osipov Orchestra's initial task is to engage in rehearsals with Chinese musicians. The orchestra members are optimistic about a smooth interaction between both because of the shared understanding of musical expression.

Famed Russian orchestra to perform in China to tune culmination of cultural intersection

Famed Russian orchestra to perform in China to tune culmination of cultural intersection

Famed Russian orchestra to perform in China to tune culmination of cultural intersection

Famed Russian orchestra to perform in China to tune culmination of cultural intersection

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China, Vanuatu enjoy long, close relationship

2024-07-14 11:02 Last Updated At:11:37

China and the Pacific islands nation of Vanuatu have been enjoying a long-term and close ties since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1982.

Vanuatu gained independence in 1980 after being under the joint sovereignty of France and Britain. Two years later, Vanuatu and China established formal diplomatic relations. The Chinese embassy was built just a few years after that.

Today, China is Vanuatu's second largest trading partner, accounting for about a quarter of the country's imports.

Earlier this month, China donated a new multi-million-dollar presidential palace in a handover ceremony. It's the latest in a series of Chinese aid projects that includes the National Convention Center, and government offices.

"Vanuatu's relationship with China is very important. It's one of our main important relationships we have. Traditionally, we've had very strong relations with Australia. Australia has been our, and I think it still is our main source of development assistance and trade. But more and more China has been coming into that space. China has become much more important as we see the rise of China," said Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Climate Change of Vanuatu.

Vanuatu is blessed with a diverse terrain and beautiful scenery.

Vanuatu's capital of Port Vila, home to around 50,000 people, is the country's biggest city. While small in size, it is usually bustling with people, thanks in part to the role tourism plays in this country.

The Republic of Vanuatu sits in the Pacific, about 1,700 kilometers northeast of Australia.

It's a Y-shaped archipelago, consisting of more than 80 islands formed from volcanoes. In fact, there are several active volcanoes, as well as underwater volcanoes in the country. Volcanic activity is described as an ever-present danger. The most recent one took place last year.

The country's geography and location in the Pacific makes it more prone to natural disasters than almost any other places on the planet. That includes the ever present danger of cyclones. Last year, Vanuatu was hit by back-to-back cyclones in just 48 hours, impacting most of the country's more than 300,000 people.

About 80 percent of the population depends entirely on subsistence farming as it is an agriculture-based economy.

People grow and sell tropical fruits and vegetables as their main source of income. Some of the main crops include kava, coconut and coffee.

Like many Pacific islands nations, the beautiful country is being greatly impacted by climate change which includes rising sea-level, coastal erosion and damage from more frequent and more intense severe weather events.

China, Vanuatu enjoy long, close relationship

China, Vanuatu enjoy long, close relationship

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