It’s official – Pianist Richard Clayderman introduced classical music to China

In a moment of weakness I once bought a CD entitled “The Ultimate Classical Album”.As well as the usual classics like Rachmaninoff’s Concerto,  a smattering of Satie Gymnopédies and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (well, one season actually), I was surprised to find that 3 out of the 4 CDs contained music by Max Steiner, Thomas Newman, John Barry, James Horner and other names not that familiar to classical listeners – in other words film music.This brought home the fact that for most normal listeners, film music is Classical Music – the sound of which is probably to do with the instrumentation (not electric) and the emotion (usually noble, or sentimental). Advertising also uses classical music, Bach and Debussy in particular (and now opera inviting us to go compare insurance prices…)

In 1995 on a tour of China with John Williams, everywhere we went, we heard the pianist Richard Clayderman playing over the speakers- Ballade pour Adeline was the favourite. 

Does Classical Music = piano? In any case, it seems that China now recognises its debt-

Pianist Richard Clyderman kicks off China tour – Xinhua | 

What does Classical Music mean to you? Do composers have a private (FTP) way of writing and a public one, which hopefully makes an income? Is film music the equivalent of popular concerts in former times? 

The guitar is an interesting instrument as it crosses the gap (or falls into it) between serious music and popular. 

What is the appeal of classical music in a world dominated by pop, rap, MOR?