Chinese orchestra fuses traditional music with modern elements

Chinese Culture

Chinese orchestra fuses traditional music with modern elements

The world renowned China National Traditional Orchestra has a way of building a young audience that appreciates classical music. It is wowing audiences in Washington, D.C. and New York.

As CCTV America’s Mike Walter shows, the orchestra’s latest original production is winning over young fans.

Chinese orchestra fuses traditional music with modern elements

The world renowned China National Traditional Orchestra has a way of building a young audience that appreciates classical music. It is wowing audiences in Washington, D.C. and New York. As CCTV America's Mike Walter shows, the orchestra's latest original production is winning over young fans.


Thunderous. Brilliant. Colorful. On this day, the China National Traditional Orchestra is rehearsing in Washington D.C. They are at the Kennedy Center for the U.S. premiere of Rediscover Chinese Music.

This orchestra wants to make sure the ancient songs, and the traditional instruments that have survived thousands of years can stay relevant in an age of the internet, cell phones and video games.

So this is about music, sure, but it’s also about staging, lighting and theatrics. In short, it’s a show. On stage, the composers’ work is enhanced by the director, who brings the music to life, making sure what’s old is new again.

Wang Chaoge the show’s director says, “The thing I am most proud of is that everyone loves the show, young and old, whether they are from China or international.”

This orchestra is also taking the classics to the classroom. Before the concerts, an ensemble stops by the Yu Ying Public Charter School in Washington. They put on a performance. But don’t mistake this as a simple attempt to introduce youngsters to the classics. In a stroke of genius, the group is also going to incorporate 40 of these children to join them on stage.

The chorus gets to rehearse for their classmates before they take the stage at the Kennedy Center.

Now, these kids have the honor of performing with this world-class orchestra. The director says incorporating the kids into the performance was an easy decision, and it dovetails with the Chinese president’s push for people-to-people exchanges as a bridge between countries and cultures.