Birmingham welcomes Year of the Metal Ox with online concert

Tazmin Barnes, Di Xiao and Jiaxin Cheng

Tazmin Barnes, Di Xiao and Jiaxin Cheng

Music lovers have the chance to attend a special online concert from the University of Birmingham marking the Chinese New Year with a magical fusion of East and West.

World-class pianist Di Xiao will be joined by renowned cellist Jiaxin Cheng and 18-year-old singer-songwriter Tazmin Barnes to help the University’s China Institute to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Metal Ox with a mix of traditional Chinese and Western pieces.

The event streams on YouTube from Monday, 8 February. It will also premiere on the University’s Facebook page at 13.00 GMT on Wednesday 10 February.

Recorded in the University’s Elgar Concert Hall, in a COVID-safe setting, the event highlights the University’s engagement with China, which ranges from research collaborations with the country’s best universities to working alongside the municipal government in Guangzhou.

Professor Jon Frampton, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (China) and Director of the China Institute , said: “Chinese New Year offers the perfect opportunity for the University of Birmingham to reflect upon our proud and longstanding relationship with China, which spans over 100 years.

“We would have loved to continue the China Institute’s tradition of marking Chinese New Year with our concert on campus, but current circumstances mean that we have had to move our musical celebration online.

“We’re delighted that these exciting musicians have joined us for this outstanding event. Moving the concert online gives more of our friends in Birmingham, China and around the world, the chance to share in a fantastic musical experience that will bring us all a little happiness in these difficult times.’

Birmingham’s relationship with China dates back to the foundation of the University. The first Chinese student joined the University in 1907 and there are now over 14,000 Chinese alumni.

There is also a strong musical connection with China, as the first original Chinese violin composition was Difficult Road (Xinglu Nan), composed in 1919 by Birmingham’s famous geology alumnus Li Siguang.

The University of Birmingham launched its China Institute in 2012 to gather together its wide-ranging research and teaching activities with Chinese partners and to encourage inter-disciplinary research across the University that focuses on collaboration with China.

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