In commemoration of the great Macao-born musician Xian Xinghai and in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of the Macao’s Handover to China, the Macao SAR Government has established the Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum to honour his contributions to the nation, promote his musical achievements and set him as role model for the young people. The opening ceremony of the Xian Xinghai Memorial House will be held on 23 November. The Memorial House will be open to the public from 24 November, showcasing the priceless manuscripts and belongings of the musician. All are welcome to visit.
To mark the occasion, the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym), in collaboration with the Library of Chinese National Academy of Arts, will showcase a total of 36 pieces/sets of Xian’s manuscripts and belongings from the Library’s collections at the Memorial Museum for three months, ranging from his identity document, manuscripts, violin, diary, letters, fountain pen and a suit jacket for concerts. Highlights of the exhibition include Xian Xinghai’s identity document in France, which indicated his birthplace and parents’ names; two authentic manuscripts of the Yellow River Cantata: one written in Yan’an in 1939 and the other revised in Moscow in 1941; the violin he used during his performances and his compositional notes between 1940 and 1945. Through displaying the exhibits, the Memorial Museum hopes to deepen the public’s understanding of the musician’s life.
The Memorial Museum is divided into several sections, including the exhibition room, the discovery corner, the multi-purpose hall, the nursing room and the courtyard. In addition to introducing the life and the artistic achievements of Xian Xinghai, the Memorial Museum also features a multimedia discovery corner and a knowledge zone, where the public can experience the fun of conducting an orchestra and children can gain interesting knowledge about music and orchestra, respectively. In conjunction with the opening of the Memorial Museum, IC will launch the picture book Music Road of Xian Xinghai in December. Targeting local primary students, children and their parents, the Book takes the theme of the growth, education and music career of Xian Xinghai, with a number of creative and interactive games designed for children to learn about Xian Xinghai and the Motherland in an interesting way.
Xian Xinghai is hailed as “the people’s musician” and is renowned for his great achievements in the contemporary music history of China. Born into a fishing family in Macao, he meticulously sought for musical excellence, ingeniously integrated Chinese and Western music techniques and created many well-known masterpieces over his brief 40 years, all brimming with the cultural inclusiveness of Macao. One of his signature pieces, the Yellow River Cantata, was widely sung during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, where it boosted the morale and stimulated patriotism of the Chinese across the nation.
The Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum sits amongst a group of villas between Avenida do Coronel Mesquita and Rua de Francisco Xavier Pereira, integrating itself into the cultural and historical context while enriching the cultural and tourism facilities in the community. Built in the 1950s, the two-storey reinforced concrete villa with a simple façade was previously under the Post and Telecommunications Bureau. The villa has been restored by IC as the Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum, and will open to the public for the first time from the day following the opening ceremony.
The Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum will be officially open to the public from 24 November. Admission is free and all are welcome. The Memorial House, located at No. 151-153, Rua de Francisco Xavier Pereira, is open daily from 10am to 6pm, including public holidays and is closed on Tuesdays. For more information about the Memorial Museum, please contact IC through tel. (853) 2845 0062 or (853) 8988 4000 during office hours.