On November 13th, the 2023 Inauguration of World Association for Performing Arts (WAPA) & Beijing Forum for Symphonic Music kicked off at the NCPA, with the WAPA unveiled. YIN Li, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Secretary of the Beijing Municipal Party Committee, addressed the inauguration. HU Heping, Deputy Head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee in charge of routine duties, and SIMA Hong, Vice-mayor of Beijing, inaugurated WAPA; LU Yingchuan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT), delivered a speech on behalf of the MCT; WANG Ning, Chairperson of WAPA and President of the NCPA, Prof. Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO Representative to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Cormac Simms, Administrative Director of The Royal Opera, addressed the inauguration. The opening ceremony was also attended by representatives of the relevant ministries and commissions, including the International Communication Office of the CPC and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the PRC, and the relevant departments of Beijing Municipality, diplomatic envoys and representatives from France, Germany, Oman and other countries to China, as well as guests for the event.
YIN Li, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the Beijing Municipal Party Committee
YIN Li, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the Beijing Municipal Party Committee, said that theatre and music are the products of the development of human civilization, and are deeply loved by people worldwide. The WAPA was established in Beijing to facilitate theatres as a platform to promote the international cooperation in the performing arts and culture, exploring and innovating for stronger cultural vitality. The WAPA also intends to jointly promote the exchanges and mutual learning among multiple civilizations, in order to meet all peoples’ needs for a stronger spiritual and cultural life. Beijing stands ready to coordinate with cultural organisations and artists around the world to demonstrate the unique charm of performing arts for the development of world civilization and to usher in a new chapter of cultural exchanges and people-to-people friendship among countries.
LU Yingchuan, Deputy Minister of the MCT
LU Yingchuan, Deputy Minister of the MCT delivered a speech, saying: “Culture is the spiritual home of mankind, and art is a spiritual language that transcends nations. The MCT of China will, as always, support the construction and development of the WAPA. We hope that the WAPA can be used as a bond to enhance our friendship, seek cooperation and common development. We hope that the WAPA will make greater contributions to promoting global cultural and artistic exchanges and development.”
WANG Ning, Chairperson of WAPA and President of the NCPA
WANG Ning, Chairperson of WAPA and President of the NCPA, pointed out, “The global performing arts industry is of the same origin and shares one destiny. Over the years, the NCPA has been dedicated to promoting cultural exchange and fostering mutual understanding among people around the world. As the initiating institution of WAPA, the NCPA will continue, along with global art institutions, to fully support the development of the association and organise high-quality events. We will create a bond of shared prosperity within the global performing arts community and unleash the strong and lasting human civilization.”
Prof. Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO Representative to the PRC
Prof. Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO Representative to the PRC, said that the WAPA and the series of events are of great significance. We will continue to support multilateral communication to enhance mutual understanding and consensus, as well as to jointly promote the development of the performing arts.
Cormac Simms, Administrative Director of The Royal Opera and a representative of the WAPA members
Cormac Simms, Administrative Director of The Royal Opera and a representative of the WAPA members, said: “Music and art play an important role in the development of humankind and are vital links between countries and nations. I appreciate the initiative of the WAPA and pleased to be part of it. Together we will make greater progress.”
Initiated by the China National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), the World Association for Performing Arts (WAPA) is an international professional non-profit organisation formed voluntarily by cultural institutions, art colleges and academies, as well as cultural enterprises businesses. Supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the WAPA is headquartered in Beijing with its Secretariat set at the NCPA. Currently, the WAPA consists of 30 member organisations from 19 countries across five continents. The WAPA’s mission is to build an open multilateral communication platform, promote outstanding works of performing arts on the international stage, facilitate the integration of technology with performing arts, and advocate for mutual learning and shared prosperity between different civilisations. Looking into the future, the WAPA will focus on improving its operational capability, while promoting the exchanges and cooperation among WAPA members. It will strive to accelerate the transformation of high-quality achievements and build a broader platform for the exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese and foreign civilisations.
As one of the three main events under the WAPA framework, the Beijing Forum for Symphonic Music 2023, themed, “Reaching for Innovation, Sharing for Prosperity”, focuses on three topics as “Aesthetic Education in relation to Audience Engagement”, “New Talents and New Works: A Contemporary Vision for Symphonic Music”, and “Cultivating Artistic Platforms for Mutual Enrichment”.
HU Heping, SIMA Hong, WANG Ning and representatives of the WAPA jointly unveil the WAPA and the forum
On November 13th, representatives from international orchestras, performing arts institutions and music festivals delivered wonderful keynote speeches, including WANG Ning, Chairperson of WAPA and President of the NCPA, Martin Engstroem, Founder and Director of the Verbier Festival, YU Feng, Vice Chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and President of the Central Conservatory of Music, Paul Müller, Executive Director of The Munich Philharmonic, Michel Orier, Director of Music and Creation, Radio France and Its Ensembles, and leaders of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Dresden Music Festival.
WANG Ning, Chairperson of WAPA and President of the NCPA, said: “Symphony is a unique force to promote the progress of civilization, an essential bond for improving cultural and people-to-people exchanges, an important element for enhancing the charm of a city, and an important way to improve the public literacy. We need to build a bridge between symphonic music and the audience in order to continuously attract and expand new audience groups. We need to build a bridge between artists and the stage in order to further cultivate new talents and explore new works. We also need to build a bridge for exchanges and cooperations between various arts organisations in order to create new platforms for cooperation. I suggest that global symphony peers insist on deepening exchanges, popularising education, and innovating while sticking to the tradition. I hope we will forge ahead in an innovative and enterprising spirit with a broad mind, constantly deepen our cooperation to make new achievements, and prepare strong cultural forces for the advancement of human civilisation!”
Keynote speeches scheduled for the morning of November 13th will be broadcast live on various media platforms, including the NCPA Classical Music Channel, and globally streamed on the NCPA’s overseas social media platforms and official website of the WAPA.
During the two days' forum, peers from Chinese and international symphony circles communicated on an equal footing, focused on hot topics in the performing arts industry and exchanged ideas. At the closing ceremony on November 14th, the “Beijing Consensus” will be released, with the aim to collectively advance global symphonic music and promote cultural exchanges.
Photos by the NCPA Photography Team