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Long Yu Speech

21st Beijing Music Festival Launch 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Good morning everyone!


Thank you for attending the press conference. Today is a special date for both myself and the Beijing Music Festival in our 20-year history together. I have been thinking what I should say at today’s conference. 20 years ago, like building a house in the desert, no one would have thought BMF would become an icon for China’s classical music stage or one of the most influential classical music festivals in Asia, but two decades later, we realize that we made it.

Countless people have made tremendous contributions to the growth and success of BMF. Today, BMF has entered another milestone. To describe BMF as a human, he is 20 years old now. As an international level music festival, he is still young and has a long way to go. As the founder and leader of Beijing Music Festival, it is my obligation and responsibility to bestow BMF with sustainable development and entrust it with a vibrant and prosperous future.

Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the Beijing Music Festival Artistic Committee that: Starting today, I will officially step down as the Artistic Director of BMF. Ms. Zou Shuang, currently the Assistant Programing Director of BMF, will formally serve as the Artistic Director for the 21st Beijing Music Festival in 2018. In the future, the Artistic Director will serve on a rotational basis for a term of 4 years with a 2-term maximum. In the future, I will continue serving as the Chairman of the Artistic Committee. I, along with the other Artistic Committee members and the BMF team, will give our full support to the new Artistic Director. As part of the BMF team, I will serve the BMF for my entire life, and spare no effort!

It can be said that injection of fresh blood to the artistic management team is a continuation to the concept of both the BMF and myself for many years, which has built a platform for talented and capable newcomers, to provide them with as many opportunities as possible. It has been my hope to pass the torch to a capable young generation, for a sustainable manner of China’s music world. This is also the tradition of the Beijing Music Festival since it was founded - the development of China’s classical music also needs such inheritance and traditions. Many years ago, we took over the flame from the older generation such as Li Delun. Now the flame is passed on to younger faces. I think only in this way, our music career can be developed and passed on. Once we were the successors. Now we have become the engineers – paving the road and building the bridges for young people as our predecessors did. This sort of building and re-building sustains our music industry.


As everybody knows, the Beijing Music Festival has filled the gaps in many domestic performance forms, themes, and content since its inception; many programs included Asian premieres, some even presented world premieres. More importantly, BMF has built a stage for newcomers, providing them with opportunities to communicate with the world. Many talented artists have flourished through early exposure on the BMF stage, to name a few: Lang Lang, Yundi Li, Sa Chen, Haochen Zhang, Yang Yang, Daye Lin, Huang Yi, and Huan Jing. We created the “Young Musician Award” last year, with the purpose of giving the young generation even more encouragement and opportunities. The young generation is the most valuable asset for the development of any profession.


Today, we continue this tradition from onstage to behind-the-scenes; we train new leaders of artistic management, yet another sign of the maturity of our operation. In administrative management, we follow strict professional operation methodology; in terms of talent training, we provide room for growth in both space and platform. In retrospect, I was a young man at only 34 years of age when I founded the BMF 20 years ago; today as I see Ms. Zou Shuang becoming the new Artistic Director at a similar age, I feel sincerely relieved and filled with emotion. A young person has taken over the torch from my hand, which proves that our efforts over the past 20 years are worthwhile. There are returns from our efforts to popularize and promote classical music in China, which show that this profession can still attract and invite young talents. This brings me even greater confidence of classical music’s bright future in China.


For friends who have followed the development of BMF over recent years, Ms. Zou Shuang is not a new name. She has participated in BMF’s artistic work since 2012, serving as Assistant Director in the production of Britten’s Opera Noye's Fludde. In 2016, Ms. Zou officially became the Assistant Programing Director. With her broad vision of worldwide stages, keen artistic exploration spirit, and innovative artistic concepts, she has led and created a new cutting-edge opera section, introducing operas in new forms such as immersive operas, experiential operas, and vocal theaters, which have tremendously improved the diversity and forward-looking performances of the Beijing Music Festival. This year, under the leadership of Ms. Zou, the sister operas Farewell My Concubine and Orphan of the Zhao will conduct a deeper exploration and refinements to the “Chinese Concept”; the brand new Orfeo, Diary of the One Who Disappeared, and Written on Skin, will make the opera section the “freshest” and “youngest” ever in the history of BMF.


I hope you all will, as always, continue supporting the BMF artistic management team under the leadership of Ms. Zou Shuang! I know you’ll join me in the belief that as long as we have faith in the young generation, we can have a bright future!


I also want to sincerely thank all our friends, who helped make our dreams come true. Thanks to the press and journalists here, and a belated “Happy Birthday” to Mr. Lun Bing from Beijing Youth Daily. Thank you for all your support, and I wish you a more colorful life after retirement.


Now, I will leave the stage for Ms. Zou Shuang. She will introduce this year’s Beijing Music Festival and talk about future artistic planning!

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