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CUCAS News > School News > Music Workshp Christian Von Gehren on Classical Music's Meaning in the 21st Century

Music Workshp Christian Von Gehren on Classical Music's Meaning in the 21st Century

Date: October 24, 2018







Christian von Gehren, a renowned German-Danish conductor ran a music workshop on “From Bach into the Future: A Musical Perspective of the 21st Century” at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) on October 10, 2018.

During the workshop, Gehren played 5 pieces of Bach’s classic music on the piano, between each two of which he stated his idea on what classical music means and why it matters in the 21st century. According to Gehren, music can never be replaced by digitalization because music for him is “the hat that envelops arts, envelops talents”, which distinguishes human beings from machines.

“Music has always been at the head of globalization,” Gehren remarked. At the age when Bach had to walk all the way from Germany to Italy and France for further study in music composing, Bach took himself as a human being in the center. The spirit that humans are more important than machines makes his music special today.

For today’s music lovers, Gehren pointed out that music is a healthy aspect of life, and that well-composed music reminds us to balance the structure of our own life.

“I would like to encourage you to find out what role music can play in your life. Everybody of you can help make this world even better with your personal love towards music,” Gehren appealed at the end of his lecture.

Christian von Gehren, born in 1972, graduated from Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe and Royal Danish Academy of Music in conducting, piano and music theory. He has been a conductor since 1996 and is now Principal Conductor of Jönköping Sinfonietta and associate professor of Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf.

Huang Ziyun from SISU’s School of German Studies stated that she was especially impressed by the lecturer’s introduction of the cultural background of Bach’s music.

Yet Huang proposed that it would be better if the workshop was arranged “in a smaller room specialized for these kind of music workshops” .

This workshop was one of the series of events named “Introducing Arts into Campus”, held by SISU Center for the Arts. Shan Sirui, student leader of the center said that they hope to provide more opportunities for SISU students to communicate with foreign artists and enjoy the beauty of arts.

About 60 people attended the workshop. “Workshops are open to a limited number of students and teachers who have signed up online in advance,” said Shan. “However,” she added, “we still let those without appointment in this time taking into consideration of their eagerness.”

Gehren said the lecture was “thrilling” and “very interesting”. “I like especially the questions,” he said, “There were really good questions that showed me that everybody had understood what I wanted to point out and that the topic that I choose is about things that matters in their life.”



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