R.I.P. 〓 Han Zhongjie, pioneering conductor in China, dies aged 97

2018/04/06

Conductor Han Zhongjie, the oldest in the Chinese music world, died at 305 hospitals in Beijing on March 3. He was 97 years old. Before the war he developed music activities as a flute player, became a conductor after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, and also studied at the Leningrad Conservatory of the former Soviet Union. After returning to the country, he was one of the pioneers of the Chinese music world who was instrumental in training orchestras and music education while conducting. He visited the United States in 1980 after China normalised relations with the United States and conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra, also known as the first Chinese who conducted the US orchestra. The funeral will be held at the tomb of Beijing’s Babaoshan revolutionary cemetery on Tuesday.

Han was born in Shanghai in 1920. He entered the music world as a flute player in Shanghai Municipal Orchestra and became the chief flute player of the Chinese Symphony Orchestra founded in Chongqing. In 1951 after the war, as a member of the Chinese delegation participated in the 3rd “World Youth Festival” held in East Berlin, a bronze medal was awarded to his flute solo performance. In 1954 he directed the Central Song and Dance Ensemble and made a conductor debut. In the following year, He participated in the 5th “World Youth Festival” held in Warsaw with the China Youth Orchestra, He realized the first performance in Europe as a Chinese orchestra. In the following year, when the “Central Orchestra” was founded as China ‘s first national orchestra, he went to Leningrad Conservatory. In 1961 after returning home, he commanded the “Central Orchestra” and succeeded China premiere of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.

When the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, musicians of classical music were banned from playing and were suspected of being ‘Western spies’ and persecuted. Han and others are unavoidable, exclusively directing the revolutionary opera such as “Red Detachment of Women”. He is leading and conducting the performances to Albania, Romania, the former Yugoslavia and others.

The return to the “Central Orchestra” was 1976 when the Cultural Revolution converged. However, another 10 years are needed before classical music concerts are opened normally, during which time conductor Delun Li (1917-2001), composer Zuqiang Wu (1927 -), and the Soviet study abroad group Mainly on the revival of performance groups, efforts to restore musicians, training. In the latter half of the 1980s, the conducting activity was made full-fledged. When the “Central Orchestra” was reorganized into “China National Symphony Orchestra” in 1996, he became an advisor. In 2010, a concert celebrating the age of 90 was held in Beijing, appeared with his disciple conductors, sitting in a wheelchair, holding a tact, showing a healthy appearance.

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