Belmont University School of Music faculty members Elisabeth Small, violinist and assistant professor of music and coordinator of strings, Dr. Robert Marler, pianist and professor of music and Xiao-fan Zhang, adjunct instructor of cello and member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, were invited to present ten performances in eight major Chinese cities and venues this summer including Beijing, Jinan, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shantou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xining.
Representing Nashville, Belmont University and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the trio offered a culturally diverse program that included works by Dvorak, Shostakovich, Corigliano, Debussy, Sibelius, Schubert, Chinese composer Sha Han-Kun and arrangements of Morricone’s “Cinema Paradiso” and “Jasmine Flower” by Nashville orchestrator, Carl Marsh.
The trio led master classes in Shantou, the Nanjing Culture and Art Centre and the Guangzhou Xinghai Conservatory of Music and Small led an additional master class at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music. The tour also included an interview and feature with the trio on regional Chinese television.
For Small, the opportunity to serve and work with students across China through common musical language was invaluable. “Instrumental music reaches the human soul, ministering joy and healing where such communication is not possible through cultural and language barriers. My teaching will be further informed to nurture the merits of working hard for the sake of meaningfulness and purposeful reward,” Small said.
Pictured above: Dr. Marler, Small and Zhang at Shenzhen Concert Hall.