August 6 marked the opening of the 36th China Harbin Summer Music Festival hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the People's Government of Harbin Sub-provincial City, at the Harbin Grand Theatre. Mr. Lu Yingchuan, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism, delivered a speech and officially declared the opening of the festival. Mr. Zhang Anshun, member of the Standing Committee of the Heilongjiang Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of the Harbin Party Committee, and Mr. Mirco Patarini, Chairman of the International Accordion Union, also delivered speeches. Leaders including Ms. Jia Yumei, Mr. Han Shengjian, and Ms. Chi Zijian, as well as officials from the Arts and Industry Departments of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Heilongjiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, Harbin Party Committee, Harbin People's Congress, Harbin People's Government, and Harbin Political Consultative Conference, attended the opening ceremony.
In his speech, Mr. Lu Yingchuan expressed that Harbin possesses a profound cultural heritage and is renowned as the "City of Music." The Harbin Summer Music Festival, as China's longest-running and most frequent national-level music and art event, has become deeply ingrained in the city's fabric, serving as a cultural emblem of Harbin and gaining acclaim both domestically and internationally. Starting this year, August 6, the opening day of the Harbin Summer Music Festival, will be designated as "Harbin Music Day", endowing the people of Harbin with their own musical festival and establishing a new cultural landmark for the city. It is essential to adhere to the guidance of General Secretary Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era, and thoroughly implement the spirit of his important discourse on literary and artistic work, particularly those articulated during the Symposium on Cultural Heritage and Development. This involves fostering unwavering cultural confidence and self-strengthening, upholding a creation orientation centered on the people, propelling the thriving development of socialist literature and art, contributing to the construction of modern Chinese civilization, and making new and greater contributions to the comprehensive advancement of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the process of promoting a Chinese-style modernization.
In his speech, Mr. Zhang Anshun highlighted the unique fusion of Eastern and Western cultures and the distinctive musical temperament of Harbin City. In recent years, through the in-depth study and implementation of General Secretary Xi Jinping's new ideas, viewpoints, and conclusions on cultural construction, and the earnest execution of the Provincial Party Committee's "Cultural Revitalization" work deployment, Harbin has incorporated the construction of the "City of Music" into its overall urban planning. It has delved deeply into its musical and cultural resources, continuously amplified the impact of the "Harbin Summer" brand, and vigorously promoted the integration and development of red culture, music culture, and ice and snow culture, rendering the cultural essence of the "City of Music" even more distinct and its reputation and appeal continuously enhanced. Music serves as a resonance of ideas and a bridge of friendship. The warm and hospitable people of Harbin extend a sincere welcome to friends from home and abroad, inviting them to share in the splendor of the "Harbin Summer" Music Festival and partake in the wonderful moments accompanied by music. On behalf of the International Accordion Union, which is a member of the International Music Council of UNESCO, Mr. Mirco Patarini congratulated the grand opening of the 36th Harbin Summer Music Festival. He expressed that Harbin, known as the "City of Music," boasts a brilliant musical culture and profound humanistic heritage. The Harbin Summer Music Festival stands in harmony with Harbin's distinctive ice and snow culture, adding extraordinary brilliance to the "Summer in the City of Ice". He believes that the 36th Harbin Summer Music Festival, as a professional, diverse, and international musical feast, will once again leave an indelible and moving memory for musicians and music enthusiasts worldwide.
The opening performance of the ceremony, titled "Rendezvous with the City of Music: Singing the Future of Rejuvenation," commenced with the graceful melody of "On the Sun Island". Adopting a "Symphony+" format, the performance integrated symphonic music with vocals, ballet, distinctive domestic and international instrumental ensembles, and electronic music bands. Through three chapters—"Songs Soaring Amidst Mountains and Waters," "Strings Moving the Grand Stage," and "Deep Feelings Toward the Future"—the symphonic music intertwined with rich artistic forms such as sound, poetry, painting, and song, resounding with joyous melodies of "People's Happiness," "Harmony of Mountains and Waters," and "Shared Beauty".
Throughout this year's Harbin Summer Music Festival, a series of activities will be held, including national exhibitions, international competitions, performances of domestic and foreign classics, showcases of achievements in teaching at national professional music academies, mass cultural activities for "People's Festival, Splendid Harbin," exhibitions and displays of intangible cultural heritage showcasing the unique cultural features of the "City of Eastern Asian Culture," "Summer in the City of Ice" fashion and cultural exhibitions, and more. Notably, the 15th National Vocal Exhibition will stage 22 performances, selecting outstanding vocal talents to participate in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism's "New Era Vocal Leading Talents Advanced Training Class." The inaugural National Outstanding Symphonic Works Exhibition will assemble 16 outstanding orchestras for 13 symphonic concerts. Additionally, the festival will host the 2023 Harbin Schoenfeld String Competition, the 6th Harbin International Accordion Art Week, and feature classical works such as the ballet "Swan Lake," a special dance performance by the Beryozka Dance Ensemble, and a symphonic concert by the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra. It will also present three professional concerts by higher education music institutions, as well as 15 mass cultural activities, including the National Cultural Center (Station)'s Art Popularization Chorus Conducting Training Course, "Citizens' Music Carnival," the National DJ Harbin Tour, and the "Gather in the Capital of Culture, Experience Colorful Intangible Cultural Heritage" exhibition and performance showcasing the unique cultural features of the "City of Eastern Asian Culture." The festival will launch the 2023 Harbin International Music and Cultural Industry Expo, the 2023 Harbin Ant Music Festival, and the exhibition of early music and world cultural celebrities' handwriting in Harbin.