Is China the future of classical music?

Last week the Washington Post published an interesting story by Inna Faliks about the passion of Chinese people for classical music. The pianist and professor, who was guest of Cremona Musica 2017 and will also be at Cremona Musica 2019, states that in China you are face-to-face with the future of classical music, not with its past.

The story is inspired by Faliks' latest tour in China, in 2018, when she found throngs of students and young people taking pictures with her, her name printed on red banners the size of buildings, and classical musician such as Lang Lang advertising vodka and bathroom tiles.

“I found the passion, drive and work ethic of Chinese music students staggering – Mrs Faliks wrote – And the dedication from the audiences was evident, as every seat, regardless of the city, was always taken. Reverence for Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Schumann seems to have no connection to any economic or political agenda. Living Chinese composers such as Gao Ping and Liu Sola combine the most current trends in new music with Chinese tradition”.

Faliks also tried to fight a common stereotype about Chinese pianist being technically brilliant but lacking relevance and understanding of Western music: “Music students in China, while living in a restricted society, are eager to embrace music from the West and make it their own. Have we in the West ever shown a comparable passion for anything that is not immediately lateral to our culture?”