Gov.-backed Shenzhen Festival Kicks Off

Shenzhen Belt and Road International Music Festival kicked off March 25 in the southern part of China, with hundreds of worldwide artists and government backing. 

Shenzhen Belt and Road International Music Festival
– Shenzhen Belt and Road International Music Festival

According to the Xinhua news agency, the festival features more than 700 musicians and 12 art troupes from about 30 countries and regions, including Spain, Vietnam, India, Thailand and even Canada.

A total of 16 concerts will comprise the festival, which runs through April 16. The event is hosted by the government of Shenzhen and the Chinese Musicians Association.

The purpose is to showcase music from countries that lie along the so-called Belt and Road, which is shorthand for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a development strategy and framework proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping that economically connects the People’s Republic of China to the rest of the Eurasian continent along the traditional Silk Road.

Performers include Wiener Symphoniker, Indian Bollywood Film Song and Dance Company, Canadian Brass and Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. Venues are

The opening event attracted some 1,500 people and featured local musicians playing traditional songs as well as performances of arias from Bizet’s “Carmen” and the finale to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. To encourage as many people as possible to attend, the Chinese government subsidized ticket prices, which ranged from the equivalent of $7 to $11.