The Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Kolkata, in cooperation with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), held successfully the concert with the theme of China Story: A Music Tour for India at Tagore Center, ICCR on 14 March 2017.
The concert was presented by the musicians from China's Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM), and attracted about 300 celebrities from all walks of life in Kolkata. Mr. Subrata Mukherjee, Minister of Public Health Engineering and Minister of Panchayat and Rural Development from the State Government of West Bengal, Mr. Atri Bhattacharya, Principal Secretary of Information and Cultural Affairs Department of West Bengal State Government, Mr. Goutam De, Director of ICCR Kolkata, as well as diplomats from the U.S., Russia, Japan and other countries, commentators, correspondents, writers, artists, principals of schools and universities, representatives of the local Chinese community and the staff members with the Chinese Consulate were present.
Before the concert, Consul General Ma Zhanwu thanked the audience for their presence, and expressed his appreciation for the excellent preparation done by ICCR and CCOM. He noted that it is the first time for such high-level delegation of musicians, who come from CCOM, the top music institution in China, to present performances in East India, and it marks a new high of the musical and cultural exchanges between China and India. Mr. Ma stated that the visit of this group is an indication of the great progress made over the years in China-India relationship, and the increasing importance attached to the exchanges and relations by the Chinese government as well as the various Chinese institutions. He expressed the hope that this concert will enhance friendship and understanding between the two peoples, and further promote exchanges and cooperation between China and India.
Minister Mukherjee and other guests mentioned that India and China have had frequent exchanges for thousands of years, and have influenced each other in cultural and many other fields. They pointed out that in recent years, exchanges and communications in various areas between East India and China had increased rapidly thanks to the efforts by the Chinese Consulate in Kolkata and by many other institutions, and they stand ready to work with the Chinese side to jointly push forward exchanges and cooperation between Bengal and China.
The Chinese artists presented to the Indian audience a music feast blending both eastern and western elements. The program included pieces performed on the bamboo flute, zheng (Chinese zither), pipa (Chinese lute), erhu (Chinese fiddle), sanxian (three-string instrument) as well as on the violin, viola and cello. In conclusion, Madame Liu Yuening, Chinese maestro of Yangqin (Chinese santoor), had a musical conversation with two famous Indian musicians, Pundit Subhankar Banerjee, tabla maestro, and Pundit Tarun Bhattacharya, Santoor maestro, around the theme of Raga and jasmine, which brought the concert to its climax.
After the show, many audiences came onto the stage to present bouquets to the Chinese artists, expressing their admiration to them and at the Chinese music and arts, and said that both India and China are great nations and they should have more exchanges and cooperation in the months and years to come.
Times of India, the Telegraph, and many other Indian media sent reporters to cover the event and filed reports. During and after the concert, Consul General Ma Zhanwu also gave interviews to China Radio International, Kolkata TV, ANM News and other media on the theme of the concert and China-India cultural exchanges.