[5/24 Sun] La Vie En Rose: An Afternoon of Chamber Music

On Sunday May 24, 2015, the Harvard Club of Beijing held “La Vie En Rose: An Afternoon of Chamber Music” at the lovely Pavilion at the Rosewood Beijing. This was the first such classical music event for HCB, featuring China’s rising young musicians, including Harvard’s very own Mimi Yu ‘08 (cello), Sophia Sun (piano), Fan Baisong (violin), Dong Nan (pipa), and Wang Jun (Xinjiang tambourine).

The concert theme, La Vie En Rose, was inspired by the signature song of the legendary French cabaret singer, Edith Piaf. Each of the 10 pieces was chosen to reflect and celebrate the lyrical, exquisite beauty music and the imagination it inspires in our lives.

Most of the pieces were chamber music transcriptions of operas or vocal works. The concert featured French composers such as Erik Satie, Gabriel Fauré, and Claude Debussy, as well as Richard Strauss (Germany), Bach (Germany), Beethoven (Germany), Antonín Dvořák (Czech Republic), Arvo Pärt (Estonia), and traditional Chinese compositions.

Kate Wang ‘07 narrated the concert and introduced the pieces to an attentive audience of 70. Of particular note was “Spring on the Tianshan Mountain”, a rousing Chinese folk song played with great verve and energy by Professor Dong Nan and her husband Professor Wang Jun (both faculty at the China Conservatory of Music), and the otherworldly “Spiegel im Spiegel”, played by Mimi Yu and Sophia Sun with haunting delicacy and feeling.

The one-hour concert was followed by an elegant catered reception provided by the Rosewood Beijing. Music lovers mingled with each other, creating new connections through their shared passions and interests. The evening concluded on a high note with marked enthusiasm for future concerts hosted by the Harvard Club of Beijing.

HCB thanks the alumni clubs of Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and Cornell for their co-sponsorship, and in particular, thanks the Rosewood Beijing and its wonderful staff for their professionalism, thoughtfulness, and generosity.

If you are interested in being involved in future such events, please contact Kate Wang at kate.wang@post.harvard.edu.