Because of the coronavirus outbreak, this year was the first time that violinist Zhang Qin hadn't returned to her hometown, Wuhan, Hubei province, for a reunion with her family over Spring Festival.
Zhang, who graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music in the Chinese capital and joined the Beijing Symphony Orchestra in 1999, is now expressing her solidarity with her hometown through music.
She and 11 fellow musicians from the orchestra played English composer Edward Elgar's piece, Salut d'Amour, under the baton of principal resident conductor, Li Biao, from their homes, and the joint recording was released online on Feb 5.
"It's the first time that our musicians recorded a piece in this way. We wanted to dedicate our performance to the doctors, nurses and people working on the front lines of the battle against the virus," says Li, adding that the piece, originally written for Elgar's wife, was chosen because of its soothing melody and ability to convey good wishes.
The orchestra's musicians participated in the recording from their homes, which are located in different parts of the Chinese mainland and Taipei.
"It may not be a perfect performance, because we couldn't play together face-to-face like we usually do. However, with this different musical experience, we wanted to encourage and comfort people," says Dong Linsong, a violist of the orchestra.
The Beijing Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1977. Its plan to launch its 2020 season of performances has been postponed due to the epidemic. The opening concert was scheduled for Feb 22 at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, featuring four guest performers from the Berlin Philharmonic, including violinist Alessandro Cappone.