Beijing Music Festival

Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation

The Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by the Municipal Bureau of Civil Affairs under the leadership and support of the Beijing Municipal Government.

The foundation aims to support talented local artists financially and to provide them with opportunities to showcase their excellence in China and abroad; to organize cultural exchange with foreign countries, thus broadening the cultural and artistic perspectives of performers and audience; to improve access to and standards for arts education; and to advocate Sino-Foreign cultural exchange and raise public appreciation and awareness of the arts.

Since its inception, the Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation is dedicated to developing the classical music industry in China. It has successfully organized a number of events including the Beijing Music Festival, the China Canton International Summer Music Academy, and the Beijing Pop Festival. In the area of music education, the foundation has organized free children's concert series, university student music festivals, and master classes by world-renowned musicians at the Central Conservatory of Music. These events have attracted numerous new music lovers and contributed to the promotion of classical music in China.

Renowned Artists

From Sep. 21 to Oct. 26, 2007, the Beijing Music Festival presented for its 10th Anniversary such reputable orchestras and conductors as: Die Staatskapelle Berlin with Daniel Barenboim, Orchestre de Paris with Christoph Eschenbach, and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra with Jonathan Nott; and such acclaimed recitalists as Lang Lang, Jian Wang, Mischa Maisky, Nigel Kennedy, etc.

Premiere Works

The 2007 BMF program has included the China premieres of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Symphony No. 8, Guo Wenjing’s opera, Poet Li Bai; and the world premiere of Tan Dun’s 2007 version of Marco Polo’s 4 Secret Roads--for orchestra and 12 violoncelli.

Krzysztof Penderecki’s Symphony No. 8

In commemoration of BMF's 10th anniversary, the festival has commissioned composer and maestro Krzysztof Penderecki to compose and conduct the second version of his Symphony No. 8, which is extended by 30 minutes to include an anonymous Chinese poem from the 15th century. The symphony’s theme is man’s attitude to nature and transience. The China Philharmonic Orchestra, the EuropaChorAcademie, and three vocalists joined him in presenting his wonderful composition to Chinese audiences.

Guo Wenjing’s Poet Li Bai

The July 2007 world premiere of Poet Li Bai by the Central City Opera in Colorado, USA, was a phenomenal success. On Oct 9, 2007, BMF presented the opera's China premiere in the Beijing Poly Theatre.

Li Bai is considered as the foremost romantic poet in the Tang Dynasty. His political ambition was spoiled, so he turned to drinking to drown his sorrows, which was described as "A hundred poems per gallon liquor." The opera, which combines the native poetic formula with western instrumentation and vocal delivery in a way which remains instinctively Chinese, was a centerpiece of this year’s festival.

Tan Dun’s Marco Polo’s 4 Secret Roads –for orchestra and 12 violoncelli

This work is originally commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and its twelve violoncellists. The music is an exploration of the potential link among different origins and cultures as substances take different forms but share an underlying coherence and harmony in terms of culture. The 2007 version of this work is specially created for the celebration of the Beijing Music Festival’s 10th anniversary.

Contemporary Works

In addition to promoting Contemporary Chinese music, the 2007 BMF also introduced prominent contemporary western works to Chinese audiences, such as Peter Ruzicka’s “…Inseln, randlos…”, Ligeti’s Lontano, Luciano’s Bewegung and Hans Werner Henze’s Appassionatamente.

For more information, please visit, or contact:

Shuchun Lai

Program Director

Cathy Tsao

Program Manager