Due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, this year’s Macao International Music Festival (MIMF), organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from its Portuguese acronym), themed “For a Special Year”, featured local music programmes and community activities, bringing music to every corner of the city. Since late August, 9 programmes were held in a total of 20 community music events, drawing 5,500 participants. With the exception of the “Street Piano Programme” which is still underway, all other activities have been concluded successfully. The Festival offered music to various communities from mid-summer to early autumn, paying tribute to Beethoven’s spirit, bringing music to the public and inspiring people with the power of music.
This year, the MIMF presented various community music activities, including community music performances, the “Street Piano Programme” and workshops, as well as three sought-after concerts in October, namely the concerts “A Century of Chinese Music”, “Mahler Symphony No. 1” and “Bravo Macao!”. A number of community activities, including “Chinese Music Camp”, “Late-Summer Music Camp”, “Family Music Camp” and “Family Fun Music Day”, were held to share melodic music with the community in various ways, such as live performances, booth games and workshops; the well-received “Street Piano Programme” runs until 30 December, with pianos placed in different locations, offering citizens a platform where they can play their favourite music freely. The pianos are regularly sanitized with photocatalysts and citizens are advised to wear masks and disinfect their hands with alcohol-based gel before playing.
In addition to the performances, the MIMF showed the beauty of music through different media. “Enjoy Music in Cinema: Screening of Musical Movies” presented four music-related films to music aficionados, namely “This Old Road—Konomichi”, “Itzhak”, “Yesterday” and “Nelson Freire”. Post-show talks were also held after each film, allowing the audience to exchange ideas with several speakers. The Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Macao Orchestra, Lu Jia, conducted the pre-show talk “Mahler Symphony No. 1”, giving the participants a deeper understanding of the spirit of this masterpiece. Renowned pipa performer Zhang Hongyan conducted the “Pipa Masterclass with Zhang Hongyan”, giving personal guidance on the instrument’s performance techniques.
The 2020 Macao International Music Festival was held smoothly and followed strictly the related anti-epidemic guidelines of the health authorities. IC is preparing the 2021 Macao International Music Festival, which will continue to offer exciting music programmes to the public.