Angus Smith and members of Ensemble 360 presented at the British Council
On Monday 28th February, Angus Smith and three members of Ensemble 360 (Benjamin Nabarro, Judith Busbridge and Gemma Rosefield) met a delegation of Chinese music promoters at the Wigmore Hall in London. They were there at the invitation of the British Council who are organising an exciting 'China-UK Connections through Culture' initiative that "offers support, information, advice, networking opportunities and development grants to cultural organisations in China and the UK, aiming to build long lasting relationships and to develop cultural collaborations between organisations in the two countries."
The ten delegates from all over China heard Angus speak about the classical music tradition in the UK and, specifically, about the role Music in the Round plays in both bringing great music and musicians to Sheffield and the South Yorkshire area and in facilitating tours of chamber music throughout England in partnership with excellent venues and promoters. The Ensemble trio played a selection of music by Bach and Dohnanyi to the evident delight of the assembled gathering - one promoter excitedly proclaimed that she had never heard such wonderful musicians so close-up before.
It was quite clear from the meeting that the presentation of arts and culture in China is regarded as an extremely important activity - the pictures we were shown of brand new, sparkling and state-of-the-art concert halls certainly reinforced this impression. Our intention is to build on this initial dialogue and investigate the possibility of forming some enduring links: we are hoping that the Ensemble may tour to China and that we might be able to afford a welcome to visiting Chinese musicians in Sheffield. The delegation came to the UK to learn about music-making in this country, but there will be many lessons we can absorb in return.
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