On June 4, the China Cultural Centre in Malta welcomed a full house of guests to celebrate the Duanwu Festival, also known as the Dragon Boat Festival. The evening was marked by a concert featuring a fusion of Chinese and Western classical music, highlighted by performances on the pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument, and the piano.

Pipa virtuoso Guo MeiPipa virtuoso Guo Mei

Renowned pipa virtuoso Guo Mei delivered enchanted the audience with classic Chinese compositions that captured the essence of the dragon boat festivities. Her selections included the timeless pieces Dragon Boat and The Lament, which beautifully conveyed the cultural significance of the celebration.

Milica Lawrence, pianist, and founder, director and CEO of the Malta Piano Academy, presented an array of piano compositions, such as as Romance Poudrée and Zephirine’s Garden, demonstrating her artistry and emotive playing.

Emerging talents from the Malta Piano Academy − Chris Feng, Shivaya Borg, Kiana Zhai, Andy Falzon, Tongyun Yang, Katrina Delia, Olivia Geng, Ta Bao Thien Anh, Landy Jiang, and Haofu Liu − delivered a captivating blend of Chinese and Western classical music. Their performance featured pieces such as Fur Elis, Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 in E Flat Major, and Colourful Clouds Chasing the Moon.

The programme also included a short film that highlighted the significance of the Duanwu Festival, which is celebrated for centuries on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in the Chinese calendar.

Recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage in 2009, the Duanwu Festival commemorates Qu Yuan, an ancient poet and minister of the Zhou dynasty. The festival’s traditions, including dragon boat races and the preparation of zongzi, are steeped in history and cultural significance.

Pianist Milica Lawrence performing during the event.Pianist Milica Lawrence performing during the event.

To enhance the cultural experience, the audience was treated to a selection of Chinese food, with a highlight being the delicious zongzi. This traditional dish allowed attendees to savour the flavours of the festival and connect more deeply with the celebration’s heritage.

Yuan Yuan, director of the China Cultural Centre in Malta, expressed her delight at the evening’s success.

“This evening showcased the beauty that emerges when East meets West. Although we may sound different, it is this difference that brings us together,” she said, emphasising the event’s theme of cultural unity and mutual appreciation.

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