Up Gallery » Trip to China 2008 » Shenzhen Slideshow

We arrived in Shenzhen four days after the terrible earthquake in Xichuan province. It was a very moving time to be in China, to witness the bravery of the people in the face of such tragedy, and to observe how the country, and the entire world, came together on their behalf. Television coverage was excellent. The intense relief and joy we felt when another survivor was pulled out from under wreckage in which they had been trapped for days - these are images that will remain with me, and my colleagues, forever.

For our entire three weeks, our interpreter was no less than Zhu Yafen, the great piano pedagogue and Lang Lang's first teacher during his formative years in Shenyang. I never ceased to be amazed at Yafen's abilities in English, given the fact that she has never lived nor worked in an English-speaking country. As if that were not enough, she is also a wonderful human being with a delightful sense of humor (boy did we laugh a lot!). How grateful I was that she came along with us.

The Shenzhen portion of our trip, lasting a week, was organized by Nelita and Fernando's old friend, Yue Pingqiu, China's foremost Professor of Harp. Pingqiu's warmth and generosity of spirit were greatly appreciated by all. Pingqiu's husband, known to all of us simply as President Chin, now retired, joined us for most of the trip. He is an individual with a powerful spirit and a strong sense of humor. He was head of the Shenyang Conservatory for many years. Their son, Tony Chin, picked me up at Beijing Airport and stayed with our group through the first two weeks. Tony is at present writing a book on different pianistic approaches, and is on the faculty of the Shenyang Conservatory. His presence within the group was incredibly beneficial for sorting out little details, and we sorely missed him when he left.

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© Craig Sheppard, 2008