Concerts Norway has operated music cooperation programs with China since 2007. The goal of the runnning program (2015-17) is to strengthen capacity building amongst musicians, teachers and sound engineers and work in music education in marginalized music forms in China.
The program will seek to inspire Chinese musicians, students, teachers and partners. Music towards a young audience will have special attention, as well as partners within rock, jazz, electronica and certain forms of folk music.
The cooperation mainly takes place in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In Norway, Akershus County Authority and the University of Agder are operating partners of the program.
The target groups of the program are:
Both Akershus County Authority who are working in Guangzhou and Concerts Norway who are working in Beijing and Shanghai have sought to work on ways to strengthen capacities with musicians towards a young audience in Chinese schools and Youth Activity Centers (Cultural schools) Workshops and concerts have been arranged both for children, youth, students and teachers including Chinese musicians. The audiences have been included in performances learning to play by ear/improvise. More than 200 teachers of music attended the activities in Shanghai in 2016. Shanghai Symphony orchestra is another partner for this kind of training.
Rock music is not included in university or conservatory curricula in China. Beijing Midi School of Music has developed a rock school and an online teaching system for rock music on their own. They are supported by the University of Agder. Every year they exchange teachers and master students for training in ensemble/band playing and improvisation included instrumental training.
Live sound is less developed in China than in Norway, and Asle Karstad has been vitally developing the art of live sound towards a large number of Chinese partners and organizations within the festival segment and also within network of concert halls/venues.
The program is keeping contact with some important actors in the music and media industry in China. Through these contacts, Norwegian jazz has been presented on several radio programs annually and streaming live from the Øya festival was attended by an audience of more than 1 million spectators in China