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Age 50 is time to gear up for a personal renaissance (4)

(Shanghai Daily)

16:09, April 27, 2013

One man knows

One person, though, knows what he really wants to do "early in the morning."

Xin Fengnian, the late music commentator who passed away at age 90 last month, applied for early retirement from a well-paid job in 1976 when he was only 53.

He would devote his "bonus decades" - which largely had nothing to do with financial bonus, though - to what he loved most as an amateur: Western and Chinese classical music.

His first book, "Casual Words From A Musical Fan," came out in 1987. Almost at the same time he began to learn piano.

Though an amateur in music himself, his expert insights about music, expressed in plain words, empowered and enlightened a generation of Chinese readers.

"He wrote diligently," Xin's son Yan Feng recalls. "When he was in his 70s, he would get up at 5ish in the morning, light up the stove, boil the water and, a cane in hand, walk a fair distance to a local vegetable market ... Upon returning home, he would listen to BBC morning news and then start to write."

Xin Fengnian's real name was Yan Ge, literally meaning "strict" in Chinese.

Yan borrowed his pen name from the English word "symphony" to show how much he loved Western classical music.

He knew what he wanted. He never suffered that rumbling restlessness as he barreled toward the years in retirement.

He lived a life that provides a perfect footnote to Trafford's popular book.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiXiang、Ye Xin)

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