South China's affluent Guangdong Province is expected to hold the country's first international summer music festival this July, the local government said.
"The festival, similar to the famous Tanglewood and Aspen music schools of the United States, will be the first large-scale annual international professional music summer camp ever held in China or Southeast Asia," said Cao Chunliang, head of the Guangdong Provincial Cultural Department.
The Guangdong International Summer Music Academy (GISMA), to be kicked off in July in the historic and scenic city of Foshan, came to international attention as Charles Dutoit, one of the most recognized conductors in the world, was appointed music director of the school.
In order to build an international profile, the GISMA acquired a group of professionals as renowned as Chantal Juillet, Music Director of the Saratoga International Chamber Music Festival in New York State, Claus Peter Flor, Principal Guest Conductor of Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Gary Graffman, who Newsweek magazine called "one of the greatest living pianists."
GISMA is sponsored by the government of Guangdong Province, whose GDP accounts for 10 percent of the total in China.
"To provide good opportunities for both professionals and students from China and overseas to learn music and to communicate with each other, the GISMA will be the best in Asia in scale and impact in five years," acknowledged Cao.
It will run for 30 to 35 days from every July to August. The first session will recruit some 200 professional students ranging from strings instrument and piano players, opera singers and others.
Yu Long, one of the top conductors in China and head of the art committee of the school, said that in the near future, Chinese or international students would be able to learn to play traditional Chinese music instruments such as the erhu, a two-stringed instrument or Chinese fiddle, at the school.