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109 views • July 19, 2021

Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, Violin Soloist Gu Geyu, age 11

The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto (simplified Chinese: 梁祝小提琴协奏曲; traditional Chinese: 梁祝小提琴協奏曲) is one of the most famous Chinese works of orchestral music. It is an adaptation of an ancient legend, the Butterfly Lovers. Written for a Western-style orchestra, it features a solo violin played using some Chinese techniques. The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto is written in traditional 5-note technique (pentatonic scale), it uses many Chinese melodies, chord structures and patterns. This gives the piece a distinctive "Chinese" sound, though it uses tonal harmonies. The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto was written in 1959 by two Chinese composers, He Zhanhao (何占豪, born 1933) and Chen Gang (陈钢, born 1935), while they were students at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.[1] The music did not attain popularity before the late 1970s, when China loosened its restrictions after the Cultural Revolution. Once released from censorship, it became an embodiment of China in transition. The work is a common feature in figure skating and in concert halls worldwide. This concerto is now often performed with Chinese instruments playing the violin part, the most common being Erhu, Pipa and Liuqin. In such cases the soloist is often accompanied by an orchestra consisting of Chinese instruments. On August 4, 2019, 11-year-old Gu Geyu, a fifth-grade student of Zhongguancun Elementary School in Beijing, cooperated with the Beijing Xinle Symphony Orchestra to perform the whole violin concerto "The Butterfly Lovers" in the concert hall of the National Library of China in Beijing, presenting a musical feast for the audience . Gu Geyu, who was only 11 years old, played violin solo for nearly 27 minutes. His performance was steady, confident and calm, and skilled, revealing his maturity beyond his age. His performance is exquisite and affectionate, euphemistic and moving. He is full of joy and bright and charming with classmates play, and his grief is full of grief and inspiring, showing the emotion and mood of Liang Zhu's meeting, love, anti-marriage-making, and finally butterfly-shaping. The performance was highly admired by on-site experts and unanimously praised by the audience. Yuan Quan, a well-known young violinist in the United States and a performer of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York, stated that “it is a miracle for such a little child to cooperate with the symphony orchestra, performed so completely and got a full recognition of the orchestra!” Beijing Xinle Symphony Orchestra Director Fan Xin commented that "He has overcome all technical difficulties, is skilled, and even more commendable, is full of emotions, and the cooperation with the orchestra is extremely smooth, which is amazing!" The audience was applauded, sincerely admiring the young Gu Geyu's grasp of this music, emotional processing, and musical expression. After the performance, the reporter interviewed Gu Geyu, a solo violinist, and asked him why he played this piece with extremely difficult pitch and distinctive ethnic style. He said seriously that he knew that the work is the most influential piece in the world. The violin concerto was composed by the Chinese, and it tells the story of China. Therefore, he especially hopes to tell the story of China with the violin in his hand. He hopes that in the future, he will not only play in Beijing, but also play in China, in Chinese villages, and play all over the world, so that the whole world can sound Chinese music and tell us China's own story. "
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