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Sofia Gubaidulina Honoured in China

The music of Sofia Gubaidulina has received much attention in the Far East for many years. First the Japanese discovered their enthusiasm for her music, and China has increasingly joined the circle of Gubaidulina friends.

Gubaidulina has now been invited to China for the first time, spending an extended period there as a guest of the Central Conservatory in Beijing. She was available for three days for discussions with professors and students; on 12 October a concert was presented at the Central Conservatory at which her compositions Chaconne, Silenzio and Seven Words were performed alongside premiere performances of works by Qin Wenchen and Jia Guopning. On 15 October, a further concert was presented at the Conservatory of the City of Tianjin. Here, Gubaidulinas music was presented together and contrasted with traditional Chinese music.

When I found out, Gubaidulina wrote before her departure, that I would have the possibility of travelling to China, I was very happy. This journey would give me the chance to breathe the air of that part of the world that preserves the memory of an ancient culture, the memory of such great thinkers as Lao-Tse and Confucius.

Gubaidulina was awarded an honorary professorship of the Central Conservatory in Beijing on 12 October, and an honorary professorship in Tianjin on 15 October.