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|Thursday, October 25, 2001, updated at 09:12(GMT+8)|
Full Text of Smetana's "Ma Vlast" Premiered in BeijingThe full-length version of Smetana's "Ma Vlast" was staged for the first time Wednesday night by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy, a world-renowned conductor and pianist.
The performance, as an important part of the 4th Beijing Music Festival which started October 15, highlighted the theme of the music gala to show "international standards, Chinese style and Beijing characteristics."
According to the organizer, Beijing Capital Entertainment and Management Co. Ltd., the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1869 and is now ranked among the best symphony orchestras in the world. In every "Prague Spring" music festival held in the Czech Republic, the orchestra performs portions of "Ma Vlast" as a prelude for the annual international music gala.
Ashkenazy gave piano solo concerts in China in 1979, 1995 and 1998. The performance in Beijing marked his first experience as a conductor in the Chinese capital.
The music festival, which ends November 8, will feature 1,500 artists from China and 14 other countries, and include operas, symphony orchestras, chamber music, Chinese folk music, rock concerts and a children's concert.
Co-sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the Beijing municipal government, it has been held annually since 1998, attracting a total of 7,000 artists from at home and abroad staging nearly 100 performances for each festival.
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