Chinese orchestra all set to play for Pope in Vatican

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New Delhi, May 5 : The Beijing-based China Philharmonic Orchestra is gearing up to perform for Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday.

The concert will take place at the Paul VI Audience Hall, the Vatican's principal auditorium.

It will be part of the orchestra's performing tour of three European cities, the first leg of which is the Vatican.

Since the Pope is a big Mozart fan, say reports, it has been decided that the event should start with Mozart's Requiem.

The well-known Chinese folk song Jasmine Flower will be the grand finale, say official sources.

"It is a people-to-people exchange event through culture and art," the China Daily quoted an official from the Foreign Ministry as saying.

"Music is a universal language that can bring together people from different countries, and from different religious and cultural backgrounds. We hope the concert is a big success," the source added.

Vatican Radio, which first reported the concert, said: "Music is confirming its role as a language and the most precious medium for dialogue among peoples and cultures."

"I certainly feel very excited. It is a historic visit. Although we played in Rome in 2004, this will be the orchestra's first appearance at the Vatican," said Shanghai-born and German-trained conductor Yu.

The 44-year-old conductor likened the orchestra's visit to "ping pong diplomacy", which is used to refer to the visit by American table tennis players to China in 1971 that opened the door of China-US exchanges.

Yu said that such concerts could provide a common vehicle for promoting dialogue and peace.

ANI

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