An unusual concert of Indian and Chinese classical music was held in Singapore on Friday night, reverberating to the city-state's reputation as a host to diverse cultures.

Starring with India's U. Srinivas with his mandolin and China's Liu Yuening with her yangqin, also called the Chinese piano, the concert was a blend of instrumental music from the two ancient civilisations.

Srinivas held the centre-stage, while both he and Liu displayed their individualistic styles. The others in the team were Vijay Ghate (tabla), Selvaganesh (kanjira), both from India, besides Zhu Lin and Wang Yi Jen, both from the Singapore Chinese orchestra. The event was organised by the Singapore-based Arte Compass.

Speaking after the event, Liu described it as “an India-China cooperation concert,” and hailed Srinivas as “a very excellent musician.”

Having studied Indian music and culture in Delhi, under the Ford Foundation's programme of Asia Fellows, the Beijing-based Liu commended the idea of more India-China concerts.

As a researcher in “the structure of raga” and the santur, which she described as “the Indian yangqin,” Liu said India's instrumental music reflected a classical system of “sounds game.”

The Chinese classical tradition was characterised by “score” and “very friendly, soft, and nice melody.” For her, learning about Indian music was a dream come true.

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