New York: International Chinese Vocal Competition Receives Rave Reviews (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) The International Chinese Vocal Competition, held in New York City's Kaufman Hall, concluded on the afternoon of October 17, 2007. Vocalists from around the world competed, with twenty finalists receiving the top awards. The competition attracted many fans, happy to see this elite gathering of Chinese vocalists from around the world, promoting Traditional Chinese culture.
NTDTV President Zhong Li said, "NTDTV gathered great talents from around the world through holding the competition. We want to promote traditional culture in the form of art. At this special historic moment, all the artists participating in this competition have made a special historical contribution to promoting traditional Chinese culture."
Judges' Committee Chairman Guan Guimin, said that all the contestants were outstanding, but the awards were limited. He joked, "If I were the boss of a big company, I'd give an award to each contestant."
One of the judges, Ms. Han Suqiu, said that the high level of the contestants exceeded her expectations. She said that she was very nervous as a judge during the three days, but she enjoyed it and also appreciated the high caliber vocal performances.
Ms. Han taught in the Vocal Music Department of China's Central University for Nationalities for many years, and had been a judge for many singing competitions. She told the contestants that it is understandable that genuine singers would keep "moving forward" on the path of art. But they should keep moving forward without having a desire to obtain something; doing this, they will attain the highest level in the sacred palace of vocal music. She also pointed out that only by walking a path of "pure authenticity, pure goodness and pure beauty," can one achieve this goal.
The competition fosters the promotion of traditional Chinese culture
Gold award winner in the Bel Canto Women's Division Guo Jinhui from Canada said that she took part in the competition with a peaceful mind. Winning the award was a surprise to her. She was very pleased and also honored. She expressed her gratitude to NTDTV for providing her with such a platform from which to benefit and learn. She also said that the mission through the competition is to promote authentic art of "pure authenticity, pure goodness and pure beauty." After the competition, she will continue to promote authentic art.
Gold award winner in the Bel Canto Men's Division, Mo Li, from the United States, said that there were many talented artists in the competition, and their performances were remarkable. He thought his advantage in winning the award may be due to his Chinese. He said, "I came from mainland China, and I speak Chinese. When I came to the United States, I put much effort into learning foreign languages. Due to this background and my experience, I may have some advantages in using the Bel Canto method to interpret Chinese songs."
He thought that there would be many things for him to do in the future. He should make much effort in promoting Chinese culture on the international stage. The vocal competition is a good start.
Silver award winner in the Bel Canto Women's Division, Shi Yiqiao from Taiwan, said that it is very important for all Chinese artists to sing Chinese songs. Winning the award is actually a driving force for her, urging her to pay more attention to her own culture, and singing Chinese songs.
Silver award winner in the Bel Canto Men's Division, Lin Jianji from Taiwan, said that the Bel Canto style is simple and powerful,expressive and direct, and can make Chinese songs more expressive.
Voice is a channel directly communicating with Gods
Silver award winner in the Bel Canto Male Division, Lin Jianji from Taiwan, said that early western songs were written mainly for praising gods, and dedicated to the pursuit of ultimate beauty and perfection. This history is also applicable in Oriental culture. Voice is a channel that directly communicates with gods. Therefore, compared to Oriental art, westerners are more direct in expressing their feelings, but there is also an element of being reserved in western songs.
He said, "It is very important that people should have the experience of cultivating themselves to have a refined nature. It is not true that a singer is able to interpret songs based only on his vocal techniques."
The audience compliments the competition's high caliber
Arthur Han, a music lover who has done some research in music theory, said in an interview after the competition that he came the day before to see the semifinal, and the singing was still lingering in his mind after the competition when he returned home. These contestants combined the essence of both Eastern and Western arts. They could sing soprano, brilliant and beautiful, and also could sing graceful and moving folk songs. They had a good mastery of clear articulation and breathing. It was very comfortable to listen to.
Mr. Xu, a real estate businessman, and a veteran music lover, said that singing methods are formed based on the characteristics of language. In the Chinese language, there are four tones, containing melody in music, and having a different form of expression than other languages. The Bel Canto method can expand the range of the singers' voice, improve their musical expressive force, but when using the Bel Canto method to sing Chinese songs, there is a problem and difficulty in achieving clear articulation.
Music records history, displays Chinese culture
Pianist Lin Xinwen said that the contestants had high-level skills, and the competition was intense. It reflected the first-class standard of talented Chinese vocalists. She said that westerners actually like Chinese songs very much, but the Chinese vocalists do not have an opportunity and occasion to display them. The competition has made a contribution to Chinese vocal music.
She believes that music records history. The history of the Chinese nation is very long. Vocal music education is conducive to promoting authentic Chinese culture, and will lead to the development of authentic vocal music.
Professor Gao Weiliang, a famous vocalist in New York, said that NTDTV's vocal competition was very successful. There were so many high-level vocal talents from around the world participating. It plays an important role in promoting the culture of vocal music.
At the press conference held on the evening of October 16, the judges emphasized that the singers' level in Chinese songs played an important role in granting awards, because the mission of the competition is to promote authentic Chinese culture. Lan Yeliu said the competition had a strict standard; if the contestants were unable to portray the best of their standard, some awards may remain vacant.
The judges of the competition included renowned Chinese tenor Guan Guimin, Lan Yeliu, holder of a masters degree in vocal music at Tokyo University, who once won the silver award in the Puccini International Vocal Competition, Chen Rutang, president of the former Central Symphony Orchestra of China, and conductor of the Divine Performing Arts Orchestra, Yang Jiansheng, a world famous alto, veteran vocal music professor Han Suqiu and famous singers Jiang Min and Bai Xue.
NTDTV president Zhong Li said, "This is the first vocal competition. It will be held annually in future. We hope everybody will come to join next year."
The following is the list of award winners:
Folk Singing Women's Division:
Gold award: vacant
Silver award: vacant
Bronze award: Contestant No. 86 Zhang Lichen
Honorable mention award: Contestant No. 98 Dong San
Folk Singing Men's Division:
Gold award: vacant
Silver award: Contestant No. 85 Ci Gong
Bronze award: vacant
Bel Canto Women's Division:
Gold award: Contestant No. 25 Guo Jinhui
Silver award: Contestant No. 72 Shi Yiqiao
Bronze awards: Contestant No. 14 Wang Xin, and contestant No. 33 Li Yu
Honorable mention awards: Contestant No. 13 Lin Mengjun, contestant No. 6 Fenni Chen, contestant No. 95 Zhang Jiahui, contestant No. 23 Chen Xinqin, contestant No. 64 Huang Biru and contestant No. 77 Li Yunxue.
Bel Canto Men's Division:
Gold award: Contestant No. 18 Mo Li
Silver award: Contestant No. 84 Lin Jianji
Bronze awards: Contestant No. 2 Li Yong, and contestant No. 91 Han Dawei
Honorable mention awards: Contestant No. 69 Li Wenzhi, contestant No. 76 Qu Yue, and contestant No. 63 Tang Fakai.