Today, representatives of the Sydney Symphony and Sydney University gathered at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (SCM) to celebrate the strengthening relationship between Australian and Asian music institutions.
The Commonwealth Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, and Sydney Symphony Chairman, John C. Conde AO, joined University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, for a performance in the Atrium of the Conservatorium. Yang Liu played traditional music on the erhu, a two-stringed, bowed instrument. Chai Changning, who originally studied at the Central Conservatory in Beijing but now resides in Australia, concluded a performance on his bamboo flute with an spectacular rendition of “Click go the Shears”.
Senator Evans acknowledged the importance of cultural exchanges such as the current Sydney Symphony tour to China and the Memorandum of Understanding the orchestra signed in with Xinghai Conservatory in Guangzhou in August. Members of the Sydney Symphony will coach students from the Conservatory as part of the arrangement and Vladimir Ashkenazy will conduct a rehearsal of the student orchestra. Newly appointed Dean of the SCM, Dr Karl Kramer, is accompanying the Sydney Symphony’s tour to investigate further opportunities for exchange in the region.
“In this, the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Peoples’ Republic of China and Australia, it is exciting to see our relationship continue to strengthen through education,” Senator Evans said. “The next generation of Australian professionals, including our musicians, should have the best possible knowledge of Asia in order to seize new opportunities.”
SSO Chair, John Conde, and Minister Evans, in discussion.
From the left: John Conde; Sydney University Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence; Minister Evans and Head of School and Acting Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium, Anna Reid.
Minister Evans and Chairman Conde discuss the Erhu (Southern Fiddle) with musician Yang Liu.