30 erhu players from Singapore, China in virtual performance

Co-organised by the Singapore Chinese Music Federation and Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, the performance of the classic erhu song, Together We March (Guang Ming Xing), was to celebrate three decades of Singapore-China bilateral relations.
Co-organised by the Singapore Chinese Music Federation and Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, the performance of the classic erhu song, Together We March (Guang Ming Xing), was to celebrate three decades of Singapore-China bilateral relations.PHOTO: SINGAPORE CHINESE MUSIC FEDERATION

The coronavirus pandemic did little to dampen the spirits of musicians from Singapore and China, as they put together a vibrant performance of a classic erhu song despite being spread across various locations in the two countries.

To celebrate three decades of Singapore-China bilateral relations, 30 erhu enthusiasts from the two countries staged a virtual performance of Together We March (Guang Ming Xing), written by Chinese composer Liu Tianhua in 1931.

The performance was posted on Facebook (bit.ly/3digqhj) yesterday morning by the Singapore Chinese Music Federation (SCMF), formed in 2014 to promote Chinese classical music and raise its performance standards.

Co-organised by the federation and Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, the performance featured musicians from orchestras, conservatories, music associations and schools in Singapore and China.

Local performers included Nominated Member of Parliament Terence Ho, who is also executive director of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and the SCMF's vice-president; Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese Media Group NewsHub editor Han Yong May and visually disabled musician Stephanie Ow.

Their Chinese counterparts included Professor Wang Yongde from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China-born Canadian erhu player and composer George Gao and Duan Aiai, president of the Shanghai Musicians' Association's erhu committee and an erhu solo artist with the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra.

SCMF president Tay Teow Kiat said of the performance: "It brings forth the unity of the federation, sending positive vibes in challenging times as we continue our passion of sharing Chinese classical music in Singapore and beyond."

Alluding to the significance of the piece Together We March, Dr Wang from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music said: "Music has no boundaries. In these times of pandemic, we unite in our music, marching on hand in hand to a brighter future."

He added: "This year marks 30 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China and it is indeed worth a celebration. May our Singapore-China friendship last forever."

Singapore and China established diplomatic relations on Oct 3, 1990, at the United Nations complex in New York.

Then Foreign Minister Wong Kan Seng and his then Chinese counterpart Qian Qichen signed a short communique and shook hands in a simple ceremony.

Mr Wong told reporters after the ceremony the agreement would simply formalise existing relations between Singapore and China, which were already warm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2020, with the headline '30 erhu players from Singapore, China in virtual performance'. Subscribe