BEIJING — The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra (ANPO) officially concluded its two-week tour in China on Thursday, which was hailed as a representative event of increasing cultural exchanges between the two countries. This is the first time that the orchestra has performed in China.

Armenia Ambassador to China Sergey Manassarian said at a previous media conference that the ANPO will come back to China many more times, expanding the amount of cities on tours, attracting a larger audience and establishing stronger bonds.

The orchestra’s historical tour enriched cultural cooperation between Armenia and China to qualitatively new level, giving the Chinese audience an opportunity to understand Armenian music, sample the high professionalism of the Armenian musicians feel the spirit of a centuries-old culture and enjoy wonderful performances, he said.

With the deepening development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), cultural exchanges between China and countries along the BRI are gradually increasing. Armenia is an active advocate of China-proposed BRI. Under the initiative, the exchange and cooperation between the two countries not only involved investment projects in economy and trade, but also cooperation in energy, security, culture and other fields.

Under the baton of artistic director, Eduard Topchjan, the orchestra played repertories that include pieces from Russian composers, excerpts of The Nutcracker, the classic ballet composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Night on the Bald Mountain by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky and excerpts of Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet work, Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64.

The orchestra also played Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite and Spartacus ballet suites.

Arman Padaryan, ANPO’s general producer, said they had very carefully selected the repertories for performance.

“The program especially includes the works of Khachaturian who is a famous Armenian composer. We hope that, through our performance with distinctive national features, it can make everybody experience the different interpretation of the music from Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra with century-long history,” Padaryan said.

“Armstrong Music and Arts have been dedicated to the communication and transmission of ‘The Belt and Road’ culture,'” said Wray Armstrong, the founder and chairman of Armstrong International Music & Arts Enterprises Ltd., which organized this tour.

Armenia has many great composers including Aram Ilyich Khachaturian and its music culture carries a strong national color. “We hope we can bring more Armenian culture projects to China together with the Armenian Embassy in China, and expect to spread excellent Chinese cultural works to Armenia and other Belt and Road countries,” he said.

The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1925 and has served as an ambassador for Armenian arts and culture worldwide. According to the Armenian ambassador to China, Sergey Manassarian, the China tour will pave the way for more cultural exchange programs between China and Armenia in the future.

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