2021 Tiananmen Remembrance

A Virtual Commemoration Featuring Wang Xilin‘s Symphony No.3



Introduction and broadcast of renowned composer Wang Xilin’s Symphony No.3
written in 1989 for remembering the victims of the Tiananmen Massacre.

9:00-11:30 EDT – June 4th, 2021 | 2021年6月4日 美东时间上午9:00-11:30


Composer Wang Xilin 王西麟先生

Prof. Cai Xia 蔡霞教授

Virtual Event Starts in:









Chaired by: Dr. Jianli Yang, Founder and President of Citizen Power Initiatives for China


Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President of Tom Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice

Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, President of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

Mr. Rory O’Connor, President of Athenai Institute


9:20 – 10:00 AM: Remarks by Political and Human Rights Leaders

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of US House of Representatives

Mr. Michael Pompeo, Former US Secretary of State

Congressman Chris Smith, Co-Chair of US House Representatives Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Congressman Tom Malinowski

Mr. Matthew Pottinger, Former US Deputy National Security Advisor

Mr. Sam Brownback, Former US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom

Mr. Nury Turkel,  Commissioner, US International Religious Freedom Commission

Mr. Ngodup Tsering, The Representative of H.H. Dalai Lama to North America

Mr. Fang Zheng, Hero and Survivor of Tiananmen Massacre

Ms. Joey Siu, Hong Kong Student Leader

Mr. Cai Chu, Poet & Chief Editor of MinZhuZhongGuo.org

Mr. Xia Ming, Chairman of Laogai Foundation

Mr. Times Wang, Lawyer, Legal Counsel of Citizen Power Initiatives for China

Ms. Courtney Britt, Southern Regional Vice-Chair of College Republican National Committee

Ms. Keely Sage, President of Tennessee College Democrats

10:00 – 10:30 AM: Conversation between Master Wang Xilin and Prof. Cai Xia

Conversation between Master Wang Xilin and Prof. Cai Xia on Master Wang’s life and work, how the Symphony No.3 was composed, what each movement attempts to express and other highlights of the Symphony No.3.

10:30 – 11:30 AM: Broadcasting the pre-recorded Symphony No.3


11:30 AM: End of the program

About Wang Xilin

Wang Xilin (1936-) is a renowned Chinese composer. In 1957, he entered the composition department of the Shanghai Conservatory where he studied under a number of first class composers such as Liu Zhuang, Chen Mingzhi, Ding Shande and Qu Wei. In 1962, he graduated from the Conservatory with the first movement of his Symphony No.1 (Op.2) as a graduation project (his adviser was Qu Wei). He then was assigned the position of resident composer at the Beijing Central Broadcasting Orchestra. Soon he finished the other two movements of Symphony No.1. In 1963, he composed Yunnan Tone Poem (Op.3), an orchestral suite that won the top prize of China’s Symphony Composition Competition 18 years later. Unfortunately in 1963, he was encouraged by the government to make suggestions, so he gave an almost two-hour long speech in a public meeting, in which he criticized the government’s cultural policy. It led to his persecution, and he was forced to exile in Shanxi for 14 years.

Wang was brought back to Beijing in 1978 after the Cultural Revolution. At the time, Wang Xilin was 42 years old. Only then had he the opportunity to encounter contemporary composition techniques of some influential Western composers such as Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Penderecki, to name a few, whose music was banned in the PRC from 1949 to 1976. From then on, Wang Xilin taught himself many contemporary composing techniques such as serialism, minimalism and cluster. He applied these modern techniques as well as elements of Chinese regional operas to his own music. Consequently, his aesthetics and musical language went through enormous development, and he composed several dramatic, tragic, deep and emotional symphonic works, which were full of conflicts. His music is considered to be embodying the vicissitudes and tragedies of China’s contemporary history. He becomes the most unique and significant composer in China. However, in November 2000, Wang Xilin was invited to talk at the first rehearsal of his Symphony No.4. He said that “The twentieth century is now gone. The biggest thing in the twentieth century is that Communism was pursued hard at first, and abandoned ruthlessly in the end. “This statement irritated the government and the concert was canceled.

Wang’s oeuvres has included over 60 compositions with opus numbers, including ten symphonies, three concertos for the piano, violin, and voice respectively, and various orchestral and chamber works. In addition, he has also composed more than 40 pieces of TV and movie music, which are without opus numbers. He has published some articles about music as well. In recent years, Wang’s music has been performed many times in Europe. Wang’s “Torch Festival,” the last movement of Yunnan Tone Poem (Op.3) is the most representative Chinese works, and it has been played in about 40 cities of 20 countries. In the PRC, there has been seven concerts dedicated solely to his works, and he has won the National Composition Prizes for three times. Both Penderecki and Gubaidulina spoke highly of his music. In 2010, his piano concerto, commissioned by the Tenth Switzerland Culturescapes International Arts Festival, was premiered in Switzerland, and it was a big success. He has an entry in the volume 17 of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (2007), and in 2014, Schott Music contracted with him to publish his works.


王西麟 (1936-),国家一级作曲。生于河南开封,祖籍山西稷山,童年就读于甘肃省平凉县基督教小学,父早逝后,因家贫而于 1949 年 9 月于甘肃平凉参加中国人民解放军十一师文工团,1955 年被送入北京“中央军委军乐指挥专科学校”学习并毕业于该校位于上海的“教师预备学校”,1957 年 9 月考入上海音乐学院作曲系,先后师从刘庄、陈铭志、丁善德、瞿维。1962 年以《第一交响曲》(Op.2)(第一乐章 导师瞿维)毕业后,被分配至北京中央广播交响乐团任驻团创作员。在此期间,他完成了《第一交响曲》的第二、三乐章,并于 1963 年创作了 18 年后获得国家交响乐创作最高奖的《云南音诗》。1963年的文革前夕,他被官方动员,在会议上发言近两小时,公开批评了官方的艺术方针,因此受到严酷迫害,并于 1964 年被下放到山西长达 14年。其中,前七年(1964-1970)在山西大同雁北文工团作勤杂工,并在文革中遭到批斗、拷打、 监禁、刑讯;后七年(1971-1977)被调到山西长治晋东南歌舞团任指挥,在此期间,他致力于 地方音乐研究,并创作了《上党梆子交响乐“沙家浜”》。

文革结束后于 1978 年初回到北京,此 时已 42 岁的王西麟才得以接触从 1949 年到 1976 年在中国大陆被禁止的诸如勋伯格、巴托克、 斯特拉文斯基和潘德列斯基等人的 20 世纪现代音乐作品,开始了他对序列技术、简约派技术、 音块技术的学习和运用,同时将其加以改造,在作品中融入大量的民间地方戏音乐的元素,从而 极大地改变、丰富并发展了他的音乐语言和美学观念,藉此创作了多部充满矛盾冲突、富有悲剧 性和戏剧性、深刻而强烈的交响乐作品,成为中国具有独特意义的代表性作曲家。2000 年作曲 家完成了他最重要的代表作品之一《第四交响曲》(Op.38),当年 11 月因在首次排练时受邀讲 话直言“20 世纪过去了,20 世纪最大的事件是共产主义被人类苦苦追求又被无情抛弃”而触怒 了官方,被取消了音乐会。

王西麟迄今共创作了包括十部交响曲、数部交响组曲、交响序曲、钢琴协奏曲、小提琴协奏曲、 声乐协奏曲、交响合唱和室内乐等 60 余部有编号作品,另有 40 余部未编号的影视音乐作品, 并发表过多篇音乐评论文章。他的作品《火把节》(《云南音诗》的终曲)已演出于 20 多个国家 40 多个城市,成为最具代表性的中国作品。他曾举办过 8 次个人交响乐作品音乐会,三次获得 国家交响乐创作最高奖,并得到克里斯托弗•潘德列茨基和索菲亚•古拜杜丽娜等国际著名作曲家 的高度评价。他的作品近年来多次在欧洲上演,尤其是 2010 年在瑞士第十届“文化风景线”国 际艺术节上首演的委约作品《钢琴协奏曲》获得了极大成功。王西麟于 2007 年被德国《MGG 音乐大辞典•第 17 卷》收录为中国作曲家条目,并于 2014 年成为德国朔特音乐出版社签约作曲家。2021年5月17日,王西麟先生,为23件弦乐而创作的第五交响曲,由指挥家 Johannes Kalitzke 与德国著名的室内乐团 Ensemble Resonanz 在汉堡易北音乐厅 (Elbphilharmonie) 演出, 并制作成音乐视屏。这部作品也是为纪念鲁迅120周年诞辰而作。

(根据布丽塔•王诗玲所撰《MGG 音乐大辞典•第 17 卷》王西麟条目及香港浸会大学杨汉伦 教授所撰王西麟传记整理)