File photo shows U.S. composer and conductor Eric Whitacre at the Lincoln Center in New York. (Xinhua/Courtesy of Eric Whitacre)
Grammy winning U.S. composer and conductor Eric Whitacre hopes to revisit China "as soon as possible" as Chinese audiences are amongst "the most passionate audiences" that he has ever seen.
Whitacre, who was recently appointed Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, made the remarks in a recent written interview with Xinhua.
"About the Chinese music industry, all I know for certain is that Chinese audiences are amongst the most passionate audiences that I've seen, and that China seems to be producing an incredible number of musicians these days," Whitacre said.
Whitacre conducted a Mozart Requiem with a baritone soloist who typically sang with Chinese National Opera during his first visit to China.
"It was fascinating; it was a completely different vocal approach, different style, but we had a great time and made beautiful music together, " he said. "I found the Chinese people to be incredibly warm and welcoming."
Whitacre's last visit to China took him to Shanghai while he was working on Kung Fu Panda 3 with a Chinese-speaking choir.
"We had a blast. All young people. Very inventive, fun, very free," he said.
Whitacre said he is very interested to learn Chinese folk music though he does not know about it very much at all.
"As a tiny side note, I' d really like to visit China again, and hope to have the opportunity to do it as soon as possible," he said.
MUSIC MAKES WORLD A BETTER PLACE
A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York City, Whitacre is best known for his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs, which, by using digital technology and the power of YouTube, have united singers from over 101 countries in performance through user-generated videos.
Whitacre believes music is able to transcend all cultural, lingual barriers and bring together people of all backgrounds.
"Singing, in particular, I believe is the most human thing we can do together. A single, unified breath; everyone united in a common goal, which is exclusively the search for truth and beauty. This can only be a good thing," he said.
"Also we know now physiologically that music can have a dramatic impact. We know that people who study music younger score higher on tests of compassion and empathy," he said."And we know that music-making itself lowers the stress hormone cortisol, and increases endorphins and bonding hormones."
"Really, music-making is something everyone should do. I believe the world would be a better place if that were so," he said.
Whitacre's first album as composer and conductor, released by Decca as Light & Gold, won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Choral Recording. The range of Whitacre's international reach increased in 2010 with the launch of his ground-breaking Virtual Choir "Lux Aurumque". To date, his four Virtual Choirs have registered over 15 million views.