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Recap: Beethoven in China, Parts 1 and 2, July 2020

Recap: Beethoven in China, Parts 1 and 2, July 2020

On July 21 and July 28, China Institute presented a two-part discussion on ‘Beethoven in China,’ in partnership with The US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and China Institute, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Beethoven in China Part 1: How the great composer inspired generations of Chinese through war, revolution, and hardship

Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai discuss their book, “Beethoven in China,” with particular focus on the historical background and the most influential people who were responsible for exploring Beethoven and his music in China.

Full program video

Beethoven in China Part 2: The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Power of Cultural Bridges

What explains China’s deep passion for classical music—even as audiences in the West continue to shrink? Jennifer Lin, co-producer and director of new documentary “Beethoven in Beijing,” conductor Jindong Cai, and former Ambassador Nicholas Platt, an advisor to the Philadelphia Orchestra, explored this question and the extraordinary story of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s journey in China, starting with its historic visit in 1973. The discussion followed a screening of the film.

Full program video


The US-China Music Institute was founded at the Bard College Conservatory of Music in 2017 by conductor and classical music scholar Jindong Cai and Robert Martin, a cellist, philosopher, and the founding director of the Bard Conservatory. The Institute’s mission is to promote the study, performance, and appreciation of music from contemporary China, and to support musical exchange between the United States and China. It is the most comprehensive institution for Chinese music in the West, with unprecedented degree programs and research and performance opportunities for students, artists, composers, and scholars around the world.

See more from our playlist of virtual and in-person Music at China Institute programs