Tian Jiaxin: Bring China to the World with Music

By staff reporter WANG WENJIE

From a little girl who cried at her first concert to a performer on the international stage, Tian Jiaxin, by realizing her musical dream, is making the world hear China.

On April 28, the “French Spirit” concert was held at the National Theatre for the Performing Arts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sino-French diplomatic relations. The French maestro Philippe Entremont and his Chinese student Tian Jiaxin brought the concert to its peak with their free-flowing performance of Mozart’s piano concerto. Although they had collaborated before, it was the first time Tian performed with her French master on a Chinese stage.

“It is a great honor for me to participate in this activity as a representative of young Chinese pianists. I think the activity is a wonderful gift for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-French relations,” said Tian. “I cherish every performance with Philippe. Besides playing techniques, he teaches me how to become a true artist,” she added.

New Star Rising

Upon meeting the young Beijing girl, most visitors get a first impression of confidence, open-mindedness and maturity. Face-to-face, she is warm and affable. Onstage, she projects a strongly personal vision of music. “Through the language of music,” she wrote in her first album Piano Music from the Heart, “I would like the audience to experience the emotions deep in my heart and let them appreciate the beauty of music.” Tian’s music has since been heard throughout the world.

Tian’s accomplishments have been celebrated through many awards at domestic and foreign piano competitions. In December 2011, she won first prize in a competition for her interpretation of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K. 466. Her success allowed her to meet Philippe Entremont, whom she has come to respect as “the great master.”

“Philippe was the designated cooperation partner of the winner of the competition. In February 2012. I felt like the luckiest person on earth,” Tian said. “That was our first collaboration. He inspired me and influenced my performance in later years.”

Philippe respects the young Chinese woman and speaks highly of their work together. “After five seconds, I knew that I liked this girl and her sound,” Philippe said several years later.

Tian speaks warmly about her French maestro. “When I had my concert at Carnegie Hall in February 2013, Philippe didn’t tell me he was in the audience. It was such a big surprise. After I returned to the stage and finished playing La Campanella by Liszt, Philippe came onstage to hug me. Then he held up my arm and smiled at the audience. I was so flattered. His silent encouragement was more powerful than words. During the media interview after the concert, Philippe said, ‘This girl deserves a great master.’ At that time, Erica Mason, an American who has treated me as her own daughter, was sitting beside us. She asked Philippe which master would teach me. Philippe smiled and pointed to himself. That was how I became his student,” Tian said.

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