United States: Skilled Vocalists from Around the World Promote Traditional Chinese Art

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On October 15th, 2007, the First International Chinese Vocal Competition was held in Kaufmann Concert Hall, New York City. Contestants were from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Argentina, Germany, England, Greece, Holland, Spain, Norway, Canada, Sweden, Korea, Singapore and America. Thirty-six contestants will enter the semifinals.

Vocalist Tang Fakai, the 63rd contestant, performing L'Ultimo Bacio

Vocalist Tan Ge, the 18th contestant, performing Nessun Dorma

Vocalist Liu Maoguo from Japan, the 17th contestant in the Chinese Folk Singing division

Vocalist Xu Dechong, the 45th contestant in the Bel Canto division

Vocalist Guo Jinhui: Ms. Guo was born in Taiwan, and studied singing in Italy. She lives in Montreal. She performed Antonin Dvorak's Song to the Moon. She won the third place in an international vocal competition held in the Czech Republic, 1999, and second place in a competition held in Taiwan, 2003

The competition has four divisions: Male and Female Chinese Folk Singing and Bel Canto. Many contestants have won awards in international or national vocal competitions. Many of them are professional singers at opera houses and some are professors or students at well-known schools in America and Europe.

Ms. Yang Jiansheng, a prominent Contralto and one of the judges of the competition, said that this is the first international Chinese vocal competition that offers the world a chance to learn about Chinese culture. She said that what the organisers and the contestants are doing is very meaningful.

Some contestants said that the competition is very intense, because many skilled and well-known vocalists have entered it. They said that this competition is a significant event in the world vocalist community and is a good opportunity for Chinese vocalists to showcase traditional Chinese art to the world.

Contestants from different cultures

Vocalist Lan Yeliu, one of the judges of the competition, stated that he was surprised by the multi-cultural background of the contestants.

He said the contestants are from different cultures and the songs they are performing are in many languages, including German, French, Italian and Chinese, which was a challenge to the judges.

Chen Long, a contestant from Taiwan, told this reporter that the contestants are from more than 20 countries and many are very accomplished and have won awards in international competitions. He felt honored to be among them.

Jason Fuh from America performed Mattinata by Ruggero Leoncavallo in Italian. He said that in Western society, Chinese vocalists have very few opportunities to compete with Westerners, and people don't pay enough attention to Chinese music. He said that this competition offers a good opportunity for Chinese vocalists to share their arts and encourage each other.

The Competition helps to promote Chinese culture

Zhao Weining from America, a contestant in the Women's Chinese Folk Singing Division, performed a traditional Chinese folk song, which told a love story. She said that the song is a pure love story and fortunately the lyrics were not changed by the Chinese Communist Party. She said there are many beautiful Chinese folk songs in China, but many Chinese singers don't know about them, so we have lost many songs. She said that the competition is helping to promote those beautiful Chinese folk songs.

The Competition offers a stage for Chinese vocalists

Qi Guosheng from New York said that the competition offers a stage for Chinese vocalists and promotes Chinese art to the world. He said it is very meaningful and nobody has done it before.

He expressed that it is a significant event for both Chinese and Western artists. He pointed out that the competition breaks down the obstacles between Chinese and Western culture and makes Chinese arts a part of the mainstream arts.

It is Chinese artists' responsibility to promote Chinese art

Lin Wenyu from Argentina said, "Most Chinese vocalists only sing Western songs for Western audiences and [as a result] very few Westerners know about Chinese songs. I hope that I can help to promote Chinese art, which is Chinese artists' responsibility."

Chen Xinqin from Malaysia said, "This competition is for Chinese vocalists, and every contestant must perform at least one Chinese song. It helps to promote Chinese culture."

The competition purifies people's hearts and promotes righteous art

Xu Jianing from Germany said, "I hope that more Chinese people will join us to promote traditional and righteous Chinese culture." Chen Long from Taiwan expressed, "NTDTV is devoted to the righteous arts. It will bring the righteous arts to the arts and educational community. Modern society is full of evil stuff and many young people are influenced by it. We need people like NTDTV to promote the righteous arts, which will purify people's hearts and raise the moral standard." Tang Zhimin from Taiwan said that traditional and morally upright vocal styles will become the mainstream. He said that he felt honored to be one of the contestants helping to promote upright vocal tradition on the international stage.

It is an honor to win, but it is more important to participate

Chu Meiniang from Taiwan expressed, "It is an honor to win, because the winners will be recognised in the international vocal community. I would really appreciate it if I win and I thank everyone who has helped me."

Chen Xinqin said, "I hope I can win, but I am not attached to it. I will face everything with a calm heart. It is more important to participate."

The semifinals and the final round of the competition will be held on October 16th and 17th. A reception will be held on the 17th, at which the Divine Performing Arts will perform.

The International Chinese Vocal Competition is one of the "Global Competition Series" hosted by NTDTV. The purpose of the competition series is to revive traditional belief and the upright moral connotations carried by authentic Chinese culture, including respect for Heaven, the value of virtue, the cultivation of the mind to be kind, and other virtues such as benevolence, loyalty, courtesy, wisdom and trust.

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