Arts & Culture

Folk singer Song Zuying skips CCTV gala for American concert

While CCTV extravaganza is important, singer says New York programme was too good an opportunity to pass up

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 February, 2014, 2:04pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 February, 2014, 2:37pm

Military folk singer Song Zuying was conspicuously absent from this year’s CCTV New Year Gala programme – but even though she was halfway across the world, performing for America, she said still she marked the occasion by flying the flag for Chinese arts.

Song explained she had to skip the China Central Television spectacular for an opportunity to sing in New York – marking the first time she missed a gala in 24 years.

Song, along with violinist Wang Yujia and cellist Wang Jian, were featured in a New York Philharmonic concert at the Lincoln Centre on Saturday, according to the orchestra’s website.

The Philharmonic performed traditional Chinese and other classical music, featuring Chinese and Chinese-American artists.

Song performed three of her classics – Soaring Song of Miaoling, Flying Song of the Earth and Little Back Basket – the latter of which was what she sang on her CCTV gala debut in 1990.

China News Service also said she performed I Toast My Family With Folk Songs as an encore at the New York show.

She cited the scheduling conflict between the two events, saying she had to devote more time to rehearsing with the Philharmonic, after careful consideration.

While being onstage at the Chinese state broadcaster’s televised gala has been an honour for “many, many years”, Song said performing in New York during the Lunar New Year held a special meaning.

She said that working with the prestigious New York Philharmonic was something she had long looked forward to.

“I wished to dedicate my singing voice from the New York stage as a greeting for everybody on New Year,” Song was quoted by China News Service as saying.

“And I hope Chinese classic music will be better heard through [such events], so that more people can get to know the music culture of China,” she said.