Yang Hongnian holds Workshop in Riga (2014) © Roger Schmidt

Choral music preserved in space

Beijing Philharmonic Choir song on board the "Hangsheng-1" satellite

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On April 27, 2021 at 11:20 a.m., the Beijing Philharmonic Choir's emblem and a recording of the song "Cui Gu Shuang Hui Sheng (Double Echo of the Green Valley)” were successfully launched into space on board China's most advanced real-time imaging satellite "Hangsheng-1" by the Long March 6 launch vehicle. Thus, the singing of the Beijing Philharmonic Choir is now forever eternalized in orbit.

For almost 40 years now, the Beijing Philharmonic Choir has been carrying its songs to many parts of the world - and now also into space. As the satellite orbits over China, the songs can be received on specific frequency channels on Earth.

The song "Cui Gu Shuang Hui Sheng (Double Echo of the Green Valley)”, one of the most representative children's choir songs, is composed by Professor Yang Hongnian, a leading figure in Chinese choral culture and honorary artistic president of INTERKULTUR and the World Choir Council, who sadly passed away in July 2020. In his life, as a successful music educator and composer, he was strongly engaged in the development of choral music in his homeland. For his compositions, he always used unusual, creative ideas to break the boundaries of the stage and expand to the entire space. This endeavor is now maximized with the expansion into outer space.

Even before the satellite launch, the Beijing Philharmonic Choir held the "Beijing Philharmonic Chorus Satellite Hand-Over Ceremony" last September. In his speech, Professor Yang Li, member of the World Choir Council and director of the Beijing Philharmonic Choir, emphasized the great significance of this event in the history of the choir and thanked everyone who witnessed this close connection between art and technology.

Paying tribute to the esteemed Professor Yan Hongnian, he said, "We now have this special idea that when our songs fly into space, our dearest old teacher Yang will be able to listen to the songs of his favorite children in heaven as well. We are sure that he will hear them!"