As an important city on the Maritime Silk Road, Macao is characterised by its mainstream Chinese culture and the coexistence of Eastern and Western cultures. The year 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR)’s return to China.

To mark this special occasion, the 2019 “Belt and Road, Music Legend City” international youth music festival will kick off in Macao on July 17.

Sponsored by the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau of Macao and co-organised by the Municipal Affairs Bureau, Cultural Affairs Bureau and Tourism Office of Macao, the music festival, which is a part of the “Art Macao,” will invite twelve youth art troupes from nine countries including Greece, Italy and Poland to present the most distinctive folk music in their hometown.

“Art Macao,” the five-month international arts and cultural event, kicked off in June. At the launch ceremony, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of Macao SAR government Tam Chon Weng said that the key concerts of the music season, international youth music festival, international youth dance festival, visual art exhibition of higher education institutions in Macao and other activities have come together for the second half of the year.

“This event series will be the most beautiful congratulatory gift that we sincerely offer on the happy occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Macao SAR,” Tam said.

According to the Macao SAR officials, the music festival provides a rare communication platform for youth arts from many countries, and shows the cultural outlook of Belt and Road countries. The renowned Chinese conductor Yan Huichang will serve as artistic director and conductor, leading many young art groups at home and abroad to spread the folk music.

“These youth groups need to improve certain playing skills, and they also have distinct national characteristics. We require the groups to have a grasp of both traditional and modern styles, as well as a youthful spirit,” Yan said, noting that the highlight of this activity is that it is an event where “the East meets the West.”

Yan said that the music festival will have different forms of performance with different meanings.

“In addition to formal indoor and outdoor concerts, there will also be ‘workshops’ to introduce traditional instruments to audiences of different ages,” he said. “Youth in the street ‘flash’ performance, for example, is a good way to promote folk music through mobile phone of local people and tourists.

Even without leaving home, by watching the ‘short video’ online, one can still feel the atmosphere of the scene.”