The beating soul of music

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is holding a birthday party for double bass player Zheng Deren on Wednesday. GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY

The symphony orchestra is holding a concert in honor of revolutionary double bass player Zheng Deren, who just turned 100, reports Zhang Kun.

Chinese revolutionary bassist Zheng Deren turned 100 this week, according to the traditional Chinese custom of giving a newborn baby one year. The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra held a concert on Wednesday to celebrate his eventful life.

His skill in playing the double bass was such that almost all of the earliest bass players in China were his students or the students of his students.

“We are all fruits that fell from the same tree,” says Lu Yuanxiong, a double bass professor at Texas Christian University in the United States, during his interview with China Daily.

A winner of numerous international competitions and artistic director of the TCU International Double Bass Festival, Lu studied with Zheng for seven years, from 1977 when he was admitted to the college attached to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music until his graduation. of the institution.

“You can hardly find another musician like Mr. Zheng in the world. He has contributed so much to the performance, education and musical creation of an instrument,” Lu said.

In a letter congratulating Zheng on his centenary, David Neubert, former president of the International Society of Bass Players, wrote, “Professor Zheng has had a major impact on the world of double bass performance and teaching. I was lucky to have met him twice. during his visit to Shanghai with Professor Lu Yuanxiong and was very impressed to see that he was still actively conducting an orchestra, playing jazz and teaching double bass.

“His charming personality and his passion for music have certainly been a key part of his longevity. Thank you again Professor Zheng for all you have done in the world of double bass.”

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