Go out and listen to something…

January 13, 2007

Jan 13 concert: Tong Maritime Museum

Filed under: China Tour 1, China — burnett @ 9:18 pm

Saturday, Jan 13 began with a long car ride to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, specifically to the Maritime Museum.� The museum itself contains exquisite wooden replicas of ancient ships in relentless detail.� I just didn’t have time to look at the exhibit, and hope to return.

This concert was presented by the American Consulate in partnership with the Shanghai Maritime Museum.

The room was about 45 deg when we arrived,� and I was greeted by Freddie and Francis from the American Consulate.� Freddie agreed to do the translating for me in the performance.� Ernesto, the tech manager from the consulate took the heating issue very seriously and brought addition space heaters to put behind the piano, solving the heating problem.� Nevertheless, it took a couple of hours to warm my fingers, who still didn’t realize that they had to give a performance in a few moments.� My hands were wondering why they hadn’t had a chance to do any serious practicing in about a week,� as� such important events were being thrust upon them.

The mood was really quite festive, my favorite environment for a concert, and we had a decidedly friendly audience. There were � a few Americans and mostly Chinese� business, academic, and arts� professionals.� Consul General Ken Jarrett, speaking fluent Chinese, introduced us.� (That really impressed me, by the way, because in my Vienna days in the 70’s, American officials would spend years there without learning German.)

I had a couple of planned pieces in mind, but otherwise just performed extemporaneously, including my own Waltz no. 5, Joplin’s Bethena Waltz, Brubeck Take 5, my own “Pluto” from the Planets Suite, Gershwin “Nice Work if you can Get It, and Ellington’s Isfahan from the “Far East Suite”.� Xiaohui Ma then came aboard and we did the Chinese opera piece, Deep Night of last evening’s performance, followed by Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady”� and the Chinese traditional “Horse Race”.�

The reception was catered by an obscure local outfit called the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and we met some marvelous folks after the concert.� Again a couple dozen business cards and photos.� I like this place.

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