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Queen Mary celebrates Chinese New Year with UK-China music festival

Queen Mary’s Confucius Institute and QMUL Music hosted the first UK-China International Music Festival from Saturday 3 to Monday 5 February to celebrate Chinese New Year 2018.  


The event, which was held in the Octagon at the Mile End campus and attended by over 200 people, welcomed musicians from across the UK and China. 

Hosted in collaboration with the Chinese Classical Instruments Studio (UK), the programme of concerts and music workshops sought to enhance cultural connections between both countries. 

Internationally-renowned musicians from the Royal College of Music in London and Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing included violinist Michael Foyle, percussionist Wang Beibei, soprano Wu He and guzheng performer Su Chang. 

Celebrating western and Chinese music

Music competitions on Saturday 3 February celebrated both western and Chinese instrumental music, combining instruments such as the piano, violin and percussion with the Chinese guqin, zither, erhu and pipa. The professional players were divided into three groups according to their age, with the youngest player being six years old. 

A series of Chinese and western cultural exchange lectures focused on how eastern and western music have influenced one another over the past 100 years and considered the future of eastern and western fusion music. 

Professor Kathryn Richardson, Director of the Confucius Institute, said: 

“We have many Chinese students at Queen Mary and many students interested in China – and so celebrating Chinese New Year with an event that combines the UK and China is of special significance to us. We were delighted that both Chinese and UK musicians took part, and the audience clearly appreciated their skill and virtuosity. Working with QMUL Music is always a great pleasure, and we look forward to continuing this fruitful partnership. More events are planned – look out for the Dragon Boat celebration in June.” 

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