29 September 2018 Concert at Cadogan Hall

Featuring Mandarin Voices, New Music Players & soloists, Justin Lavender, Chris Foster, Susan Legg, Peyee Chen, Richard Casey & Shen Yue
Saturday’s performance by the Mandarin Voices at the Cadogan Hall provided a unique perspective on both ancient and modern China, as well as the Daoist tradition that underpins it; all through the prism of contemporary classical music.
It was a great concert - really beautiful and incredibly memorable.
Ed Hughes - composer
It was a chance to be immersed in music that both transcends the Western and Chinese cultures and communicates between them, in an experience which was utterly unique. Putting on the event took great vision, understanding and sensitivity; and it was wonderful to be there to experience it. 
Nicholas Mellor CEO and Founder of mCubed – re-imagining heritage stewardship in a digital world.
...we were transfixed by the originality, life and movement in the works composed and performed. Not being familiar with many modern classical works, the cycles dedicated to you both (what an honour…), were very moving and uplifting.

Simon Walker - founder & CEO Steer Global
We were both impressed by the second conductor who beautifully interpreted Daoism in a very special form. That’s truly amazing ! It was definitely a feast for the ears, and for the eyes.
Jeff Cao - Head of International Partnerships - Royal Docks Team
Chinese culture was beautifully expressed in the cycle of Tang love poems which were intimate and profoundly human in their expression of ‘Love, Friendship and Longing’; and the work ‘Dao’, took us to the very start of the Universe with its cycle of creation decay, and rebirth. 
Theresa Booth - Director, Engage with China Limited

Press release on the concert - 'Mandarin Voices presents the creation of the world through Chinese eyes'

Saturday night’s performance of ‘DAO,’ performed by Mandarin Voices, brought alive the creation of the world from a Chinese perspective in a dramatic and fascinating way. Written by Chinese contemporary composer, He Shaoying, this dramatic and intriguing piece described China’s home-grown philosophy, Daoism, through exquisite and intriguing harmonies and sounds. 

 “I could not stop smiling during the performance. The novelty of sounds was both remarkable & intriguing. It was so good to hear music from China that gripped and delighted the audience – including westerners and those from China,” said H-J Colston, Joint CEO of Chopsticks Club and co-founder of Mandarin Voices.
 “Our aim is to provide a platform for audiences in the west to hear the best of Chinese music, possibly for the first time. It is a rich and beautiful tradition and is not as different as people might expect. On the contrary, the rhythms and sounds whilst giving a flavour of China, also delight the ear! At this time in our global history as China becomes more visible, we feel it is important to contemplate the nature of this country through the sounds of its musical traditions and by hearing it through a language spoken by more than a 1/4 of the world’s population.” 

 His Excellency Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, from the People’s Republic of China, gave a touching speech that spoke of the value of cultural exchange. See speech below. 

The first half of the concert also featured a world premiere of “Love, Friendship & Longing,” composed by Mandarin Voices’ Artistic Director, Nicholas Smith. Based on Tang Dynasty love poetry, this composition according to soloist tenor, Justin Lavender, was “a magical piece” and evoked the sounds and rhythms of China as well as declaring through music the poignancy of farewells. Jeff Cao, Head of International Partnerships at the Royal Docks, who attended the concert spoke of “how impressed I was by the second conductor who beautifully interpreted Daoism in a very special form. That’s truly amazing! The concert was definitely a feast for the ears, and for the eyes.”
In a departure from regular concerts, the encore was a Happy Birthday to Chopsticks Club, the organisation that founded the choir, and which has been building China-UK relations for 25 years. The concert was sung exclusively in mandarin and was fittingly performed to celebrate the start of the Chinese national holiday which commemorates the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and celebrated on 1st October.