Chinese artists from the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra perform during the concert at the Piraeus Municipal Theater in Piraeus, Greece on June 12, 2017. (Xinhua/Lefteris Partsalis)
Greek and Chinese audience gave a warm welcome to the traditional Shanghai Chinese Orchestra for holding an exquisite concert with traditional Chinese musical instruments, as well as magic performances on Monday evening in Piraeus.
The acclaimed orchestra brought to the stage of the Piraeus Municipal Theater a taste of Chinese culture with the melodies of the Erhu, the Pipa and the Gudi in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Greece-China Diplomatic Relations.
The event was organized by the Chinese embassy in Greece, the Shanghai Municipal Government and China COSCO Shipping to mark the anniversary of Sino-Greece diplomatic relations this year.
Addressing the ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zou Xiaoli praised the bilateral strategic cooperation in all sectors.
"Greece and China will remain good friends in good and bad times, good partners for mutual progress. China and Greece will walk hand in hand to the future to revive the two ancient civilizations by writing a new chapter to the mutually effective cooperation and contributing to world peace and growth," Zou said.
Mayor of Piraeus Yiannis Moralis stated that as Shanghai and Piraeus signed an agreement of sister-city relationship in 1985, it would be an excellent opportunity for both cities to come closer.
"There are all the conditions for multi-level cooperation. Our goal is to have common initiatives and partnerships in the field of sports, culture, entrepreneurship, trade and shipping," Moralis said.
Besides, Moralis acclaimed China COSCO Shipping's presence in the port of Piraeus by saying that such a significant investment can be a key driver for growth not only for the port but the city of Piraeus and the whole country as well.
"Apart from being an important financial and transport hub worldwide, Piraeus port can become a bridge of cultural and tourist trade between East and West," Moralis stressed.
On the Greek part, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Terens-Nikolaos Quick hailed the historical strong Sino-Greek ties noting that the bilateral cooperation should have solid foundations.
"Our citizens travel and get to know our countries. They are the bridges that unite us and strengthen our bonds," he said.
Apart from presenting classic pieces by ancient Chinese instruments like the Erhu, Guqin, Sheng (reed-pipe wind instrument) and bone flute, the "New Oriental Chinese Music Scene" provided the audience a feast of visual aesthetics with Chinese features like calligraphy, Kunqu Opera, and Chinese dance.
Chinese Erhu master Ma Xiaohui collaborated with Greek cellist Konstantinos Sfetsas in "Butterfly Lover."
The atmosphere in the Municipal Theater was overwhelming with Greeks and Chinese clapping hands to the rhythm of the "Never on Sunday," a popular song written by late Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis.
"We saw a great performance by great musicians and performers who underlined with the best way the friendship between the two countries. The two civilizations have such a great dialogue through philosophy, music, and art in general. We were excited," Greek Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou told Xinhua after the concert.