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The National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing kicked off its second annual August Chorus Festival on Thursday.
The Cardinal Singers, a prestigious ensemble from the United States, raised the event's curtain with a concert that showed off the group's vitality.
The Cardinal Singers are renowned for their expertise in performing classic masterpieces as well as modern works by international composers. For their first China concert, titled "Colorful America", they showcased their power in the pieces by Pavel Chesnokov, Johannes Brahms, and Stephen Foster.
The Cardinal Singers were founded in 1970 as an outreach organization for the University of Louisville. The young and talented singers have hit many highs on the road to excellence, collecting some noteworthy international prizes. Most important honors include Best Chamber Choir title at the 2004 International Choir Olympics in Germany, and two first prizes at 1st Grand Prix of Choral Music in Busan, South Korea last year.
Dr. Kent Hatteberg began conducting the ensemble in 1997. He gives advice on a good choir's aesthetics.
The NCPA's own youth chamber choir was founded in November 2008. Under the baton of chorus conductor Professor Wu Lingfen, the group is composed of forty vocalists. Wu is excited about the annual event.
Prof. Wu Lingfen, Conductor, NCPA Youth Chamber Choir, said, "Overseas choruses, who vary in style and performing, are invited to expand Chinese audiences' perspective to the art. It is also a great opportunity for NCPA's choir to perform on the same stage as those international ensembles and polish their skills."
The week-long festival will also feature Taipei Philharmonic Chorus, English A-Cappella Vocal Voices-8, and Voice from Finland, as well as the opening ceremony of the 4th International Chinese Language Chorus Meeting.