October 07, 2009

New York City and Costa Mesa, California “Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: AFestival Celebrating Chinese Culture” CarnegieHall (October 21–November 10). It’s one of the world’s biggest marketsfor classical music; it’s rife with venerable artistic traditions of its own that are stillrelatively little-known in the West; and the performing-arts field in the United States is tryingto get a handle on it. China—at least, a cross-section of its arts and artists—is thesubject of a bicoastal festival on October 15–24 that will take place simultaneously atCarnegie Hall (partnering with other institutions around New York) and the Segerstrom Center forthe Arts (philharmonicsociety.org). Thefestival involves three weeks of performances by instrumentalists and composers, dancers andpuppeteers: everyone from Lang Lang to Chinese folk groups, dancers specializing in 10th-centuryTang choreography to the fabled “Class of ’78” (the first composers to graduatefrom the Beijing Central Conservatory after the Cultural Revolution, including luminaries Tan Dun,Chen Yi, and Zhou Long). The result: not blanket coverage, but a series of fascinatingsnapshots.

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