The NCPA makes its first cultural visit after outbreak of COVID-19

NCPA November/15/2022
Diversity of civilizations promotes communication, while communication facilitates mutual learning, and mutual learning boosts development. Art helps to integrate into the world for a shared future. At the invitation of the Verbier Festival, Wiener Symphoniker, and Stiftung Oper in Berlin, a delegation from the NCPA is now on a visit to Switzerland, Austria and Germany. It is the first cultural visit to foreign countries by a Chinese cultural institution after the COVID-19 outbreak. The visit is designed to promote and deepen pragmatic cooperation among members of the Beijing Forum for Performing Arts (BFPA) and discuss how to promote China’s performing arts market internationally. The visit also aims to implement the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the CPC, better serve the external work of the CPC and government and promote high-quality development of the capital, practising the people-oriented concept of peaceful development, and setting up a bridge of people-to-people communication among different civilizations.

On November 11th and 12th, WANG Ning, President of the NCPA and Chairperson of BFPA, arrived at the first stop Switzerland alongside delegation members. He met Marc Meyer, Executive Vice President of Opernhaus Zürich, Martin Engstroem, the founder and Director of Verbier Festival, and Michael Haefliger, Executive and Artistic Director of Lucerne Festival. Both sides held in-depth talks about joint productions and international touring of repertoire, performance planning and tour cooperation of orchestra, joint production and promotion of online and digital content, joint planning and organisation of music competitions, and innovative cooperation in art education for young people.


The delegation from the NCPA visited Opernhaus Zürich and met Marc Meyer, Vice President of Opernhaus Zürich on November 11th.




 
The meeting with Opernhaus Zürich was also the first formal exchange between both institutions and between the leaders of both sides. Based on an in-depth understanding of each other’s institutional history and operational status, the two sides shared their experiences about how to run smoothly, fulfill social responsibilities and develop audiences online, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19. Mr. Meyer said that the NCPA has long enjoyed a good reputation and made remarkable achievements in promoting the cultural communication and exchanges between the East and the West through performing arts. Opernhaus Zürich is pleased to establish cooperation with the NCPA. He also expressed a deep admiration for President WANG Ning, who came to Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic to plan for future cooperation with his European counterparts. Mr. Meyer spoke highly of the NCPA to strengthen the dissemination and promotion of performing arts using digital technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also discussed with President WANG Ning on the joint production and international touring of repertoire, performance planning and performing tour cooperation of orchestra, joint production and promotion of online and digital content, etc.


The delegation from the NCPA met with Martin Engstroem, the founder and President of Verbier Festival on November 11th.


 

In 2022, the NCPA and Verbier Festival started a preliminary exploration on cooperation in online operation. Piano virtuoso Mikhail Pletnev and the Verbier Festival Orchestra have launched “Music from Around the World”, a concert from NCPA Performance Online Series, showing the authentic sound of Verbier to Chinese music lovers online. The streaming has been watched for 20 million click hits.

Mr. Engstroem started with a review of the first streaming concert to be given this summer by both sides. He thanked the NCPA for its assistance and support to the Verbier Festival, and congratulated the NCPA on its outstanding achievements in streaming and online promotion. Mr. Ernstrom said that when the world’s cultural and art circles have difficulty giving touring performances in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, the leading cultural organisations are especially supposed to come forward together to jointly create new forms and platforms including online cooperation and long-distance communication, and take practical action to practise the important responsibilities as cultural workers to soothe people’s hearts with culture and art. The NCPA has set a good example for international counterparts.

President WANG Ning said that excellent cultural and artistic institutions should work together to create a new situation for international exchanges in the context of COVID-19 pandemic and in the post-epidemic era. The cooperation between the two sides has set a meaningful example for international counterparts. In the future, both sides should raise cooperation to a higher level in a more creative and innovative way. Both sides elaborated on detailed discussions and planning about all possible issues including joint planning and organisation of music competitions, innovative cooperation in art education for young people, extended cooperation in online and digital content production, offline tour and personnel exchange, etc. Mr. Engstroem warmly invited President WANG Ning to the events that would be carried out the next year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Verbier Festival, and expressed a wish that both sides should jointly launch various fruits of cooperation the next year.


On January 12th, the delegation from the NCPA arrived in Lucerne, Switzerland, and met Michael Haefliger, Executive and Artistic Director of Lucerne Festival.



The friendship between the NCPA and Lucerne Festival began 13 years ago, when Maestro Claudio Abbado made his first visit to the NCPA with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. In 2017 and 2019, Maestro Riccardo Chailly visited the NCPA with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. In 2016, the NCPA established 10-year full-copyright cooperation with the Lucerne Festival at the opening concert of the 2016 Music Festival. In 2022, Riccardo Chailly and Mao Fujita joined hands with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra to launch “Music from Around the World”, a concert from NCPA Performance Online Series. The streaming has been watched for 25 million click hits.

Mr. Haefliger recalled the Lucerne Festival’s three performing tours to the NCPA, and the great development of China’s classical music industry represented by the NCPA and its audience. According to Mr. Haefliger, the friendship with the NCPA has stood deeply rooted in the institutional memory and development vision the Lucerne Festival in recent years; it is also an embodiment of the values shared by both sides in promoting the transnational migration and development of classical music, creating works together, and sticking to excellent artistic quality and experience. President WANG Ning suggested the two sides start preparatory work as soon as possible so that the Lucerne Festival Orchestra should return to the NCPA. He also gave specific advice on the broadcast and promotion of online digital content, and extended cooperation in performing tour between both orchestras. Mr. Haefliger agreed with President WANG Ning’s proposals and said that he would support implementation of relevant proposals with his team. After talks, President WANG Ning made a special visit to the Kultur-und Kongresszentrum Luzern, where the Lucerne Festival is located, to inspect the hardware facilities and learn more about its operation status.

The delegation will go to Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany to meet with the heads of more famous European orchestras and art institutions, including the Wiener Symphoniker, Berlin State Opera and Dresden Music Festival, as well as art masters including Buchbinder, so as to build a solider foundation for friendship, open up new areas of cooperation and plan for future development.

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