BELGRADE, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese musicians and Serbia's RTS Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday performed in a concert featuring Chinese classical music here to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival of the Year of the Pig.
The gala, staged at the Kolarac Endowment, one of Belgrade's finest and oldest concert halls, opened with Chinese symphonist Lv Qiming's "Ode to the Red Flag."
Along with well-known pieces of European composers such as Khachaturian, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, the audience of hundreds also had the chance to feel the atmosphere of the Spring Festival by enjoying some representative Chinese music pieces such as Chen Chunguang's "View of the Sea," and "Good News from Beijing" that was performed by Zheng Lu and Ma Hongye.
The concert also offered a feast of traditional Chinese instrument performances by three Chinese soloists: Zhang Pei on zheng, an ancient plucked instrument with 21 or 25 strings; Tu Shanxiang on pipa, a pear-shaped fretted instrument; and Bai Yu on erhu, a two-stringed traditional Chinese instrument.
Tu said that the pipa is an ancient instrument, but it has evolved and fits perfectly with Western classical music.
"Together with this orchestra and conductor Miran Vaupotic, we created beautiful and attractive music," he added.
The performances, which provided the audience with an interesting blend of Chinese and Serbian music, ended with loud applause.
"The sound of zheng is so delicate and sensitive. It gives a whole new dimension to orchestra music. For the first time, I had the chance to enjoy Chinese classical music," said Rada Smiljanic, a student.
Jelena Kovacevic, a local resident, told Xinhua that the Chinese New Year was a good occasion that enabled the audience to enjoy musical pieces of the two civilizations.
"I truly enjoyed the concert. I found it really pleasant when one of the Chinese musicians invited a person from the audience to sing with him and the hall echoed with hundreds of voices, which is not typical for classical concerts," she said.
The concert is one of the New Year celebrations organized by China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which kicked off in 2016 and had toured the Czech Republic, Croatia, Russia and Poland.
Another concert will be held in Greece later this year, and there will be concerts in Australia and New Zealand next year to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival.
This year, the concert is co-organized with the Culture Office of Hebei Province.
"It is a good way to promote exchanges between the Serbian and Chinese people, and has created a valuable opportunity for the Serbian people to understand more about the Chinese culture," said Ren Haifeng, director of public services at the Hebei Provincial Commission of Tourism Development. "In the upcoming years, we would like to invite more Serbian musicians to Hebei."