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How a New Elite of Artists Brings Nations Together

By our NICE-Correspondent Gesine Westphal
Photographs by Paul Harwardt

Eingang ART CENTER Friedrichstraße Berlin
Unforgettable hours were offered to listeners on 12th September 2007 - a performance of an extraordinary character. After the premises had made available by the ART CENTER BERLIN (Friedrichstrasse 134), support from the institution LSC EuroBusiness GmbH (with its CEO Bin Shi) and from the cultural association NICE e.V. (Network for International Cultural Exchange)
enabled the members of the Vienna Soloist-Ensemble Seminar to acquaint us with their wonderful and fascinating art. The cultural association led by its president Ingo Bathow has made a point of sustaining the traditions of various cultures, whereas the LSC EuroBusiness GmbH has been successful in establishing links between European and Chinese musical culture.
The Vienna Soloist-Ensemble Seminar was founded 10 years ago
by Dipl. Korrepetitorin (rehearsal pianist with university degree) Yi CHEN and remains under her artistic direction even today.
When all the visitors including numerous artists had arrived, the impressive performance began at 7,30 pm. Simultaneously, there was the opportunity of visiting all the art exhibitions within the ART CENTER BERLIN, which included, in addition to the show of African and Australian art and befitting the current "Asia-Pacific weeks", the exhibition "China Blue".
Eroeffnung  - Ingo BATHOW
The evening began with an introduction by Ingo BATHOW.

Yang JIAO und Yi CHEN
"How beautiful are the feet of them"
from Handel's Messiah, accompanied on the grand piano
by Yi CHEN

Each of the three female singers demonstrated her capabilities with five appearances. The concert was opened by Yang JIAO, a soprano born in Gansu in 1984, who began her vocal studies at the Gustav Mahler Conservatory in 2003 and who has participated in the Vienna Soloist-Ensemble Seminar several times. She impressed listeners immediately with performances in English, in Italian (Alessandro Scarlatti's Canzone "Le Violette") and German (for example, Carl Maria von Weber's "Kommt ein schlanker B
ursch gegangen" from Der Freischütz).
Yvonne JI
Yvonne JI
Born in Beijing in 1977, she graduated in Fine Arts and Music in 2006, in addition to obtaining a diploma in fashion design. She gained her first experience in piano playing at the tender age of four from her mother.
On this occasion she delighted the audience with three pieces in German by J.S. Bach and W.A. Mozart as well as two Italian arias, including Vincenzo Bellini's aria of Elvira "Vien diletto" from
I Puritani
and the aria of Violetta
"E strano" from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi.

Ge SONG demonstrated her talent with a piece from the song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben by Robert Schumann, and among others with a passage from Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss as well as Handel's opera Alcina and Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda.

Ge SONG und Yi Chen
was born in Henan in 1983.
She has studied in Vienna since 2002, two years later she also enrolled in Gustav Mahler Conservatory.

received his first piano lessons at the age of five.
Last year he was awarded first prize at the music competition of the Austrian Young Workers' Movement.
He enchanted listeners that evening with full commitment to his vocation as a piano virtuoso. He dedicated himself with complete abandon to pieces such as Beethoven's Sonata No. 23 Op. 57 in F minor, the Appassionata, and an etude by Franz Liszt.
Needless to say, the enthusiastic audience demanded an encore - an ardent request, to which all the "rising stars from China" readily acceded. Dan ZHOU chose to play a traditional piece from his homeland, and while he was playing, it could be felt with every new note how he was penetrating ever deeply into his own musical world.

Also completely absorbed in her singing was Yvonne JI in her role as Cleopatra in Handel's opera Julius Caesar. The splendid finale included five Chinese songs arranged by Yi CHEN and performed by the soloists in three-part harmony to the accompaniment of Dan ZHOU impressively and with evident, deep ties to their cultural heritage.

In order to satisfy the visitors' needs, the evening had been planned with an intermission of twenty minutes, during which some refreshments were served. Shortly after 10 pm the last of the heavenly melodies had faded away and the emerging stars were given a farewell with due applause. They have our best wishes for great success in their forthcoming appearance with the symphony orchestra of the Chinese National Opera.

About the author: Gesine Westphal is just
beginning her university studies in Potsdam
with a view to a career in business journalism

Gesine Westphal
Gesine Westphal
Gesine Westphal is just
beginning her university studies in Potsdam
with a view to a career in business journalism
©Network for International Cultural Exchange
12 September 2007 by Gesine Westphal