Mr Weida Wang

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Personal profile

Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing(BA) Arts management

University of Liverpool(MA) Music Industry studies


Research interests

The Western classical music industry in Post-Socialist China

With the rise of China’s economy since its government’s economic and political reform in the late 1970s, Western classical music has come to serve as a useful tool for showcasing changes in the imaging of 'modern' and 'contemporary' China. At the same time, a new Chinese middle-class, following the rapid economic – and by extension, cultural – development in China’s coastal cities, has also emerged, which is proved to be a substantial demographic involved in the learning, appreciation and consumption of Western classical music. Here, Western classical music has become a de facto Bourdiean signifier of class and taste. Especially in the past twenty years, a new classical music scene has quickly established to become a fledgling industry in China, critically enmeshed in both the business and political worlds. Many ground-breaking events on the cultural arena have taken place in the last decade. These have shown themselves as huge forces backgrounding the development of China’s domestic and fledgling international Western classical music aspirations. As Western classical music has become increasing popular in China, authorities and organizers have experienced a desperation to create powerful brands with which to buoy the development of Western classical music industry, first with a view to tapping into its potentially huge domestic market, and also to showcase China’s achievements in Western classical music globally as a part of broader cultural diplomacy campaigns.

 Using the Beijing Music Festival, the National Centre for the Performing Arts, local and international music agencies, music institutions and music events as case studies, my research examines how the staging and consumption of cultural events not only reflect the current developmental state of China’s Western classical music industry, but also are derived from, and also shape specific social and political environments and conditions.

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