Ode to Joy Banned in China for Religious Reasons
10/02/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – According to a recent WeChat conversation snapshot allegedly from between a professor of Conducting Department at China Conservatory of Music and others, China is banning prominent music pieces such as Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Ode to Joy) or Wilhelm Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser for their religious background.
Sharing her grievance, professor Wu Lingfen allegedly stated on September 27 that the new guidelines issued to teachers for this Fall semester instructed them to avoid using religious music in teaching materials, in accordance to the state’s requirements for education.
For her, Ode to Joy is considered classical music, not “religious music.” She indicated that she has decided to stop teaching.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) reached out to Germany-based Wang Xilin, one of the most significant composers in China, to inquire his thoughts about the new ban. Wang responded, “Beethoven’s No. 9 Symphony is not religious music, it is a lighthouse of ideas and civilization to all mankind, a peak of human ideas. Starting from 1942, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has set a standard for art, which is to serve the party. It ruthless killed all the art and those great works which have meaning to them. Today it is ruthlessly killing international art.”
He added, “Now CCP is banning this piece, it is very foolish and ridiculous! CCP is walking towards its apocalypse on thoughts and culture.”
RFA’s multiple attempts to reach China Conservatory of Music have not been successful.
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