Avatar of Steven

by Steven

Shen Wenyu 5.07

April 30, 2011 in Events, Music

Shen Wenyu (沈文裕) performs in Qingdao at the Qingdao Grand Theatre on May 7, 2011. The pianist has been called “the second Mozart”. He was the youngest prize winner in the history of the Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition at the age of 16 in 2003, received 1st prize at the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition in Los Angeles in 2005, and was appointed Resident Pianist of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in 2010. The evening’s program in Qingdao features Shen playing Chopin and Liszt, including Heroic Polonaise and Reminiscences de Don Juan. Watch a video of Shen playing piano at 16 years old.

When: May 7, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Grand Theatre / 青岛大剧院
Location: 5 Yunling Lu, Laoshan district / 云岭路5号
Tickets: 30/50/80/100 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 8066.5555

Shen Wenyu 沈文裕 Piano Qingdao Grand Theatre

Relevant Links:
Shen Wenyu Official Website
Qingdao Grand Theatre

Avatar of Cherie

by Cherie

Zhongshan Park in Qingdao

April 29, 2011 in About Qingdao

Qingdao’s Zhongshan Park has offered green respite from the urban jungle for over a century. According to the Zhongshan Park Association in China, there are 75 Zhongshan Parks in the world: 51 in mainland China, 16 in Taiwan, 2 in Hong Kong, 1 in Macao, 2 each in Hawaii and Canada and 1 in Japan.

All images by Qingdao photographer Michael Zhu.

Zhongshan Park and The Sakura Road

Qingdao’s Zhongshan Park has a history of more than 110 years. I was kind of surprised when I heard this figure, as Qingdao itself was only settled in 1898. The park’s long history and deep culture makes it a special place in the city, and qualifies it as one of the best recreational options in Qingdao for both visitors and locals.

The annual Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Festival lasts for about 20 days around May Day in Zhongshan Park. The Sakura Road is lined with cherry trees. In May this long lane becomes a pink world because of the cherry blossoms. If you walk along it, you may feel like you are walking in a storybook world. In order to make the park more colorful, there are other attractive flowers like tulip, forsythia, China’s indigenous wintersweet, and more. The bunches of flowers coming out during this period make it a good destination for a spring outing.

Gardens in Zhongshan Park

The top three most visited gardens in Zhongshan Park are Peach Garden, Peony Garden and Osmanthus Garden. In Peach Garden, there’s no doubt that the starring role belongs to the peach trees. There will be a peach flower in Spring and the mouthwatering peach in Fall. In the Osmanthus Garden, there is a curtain of purple wisterias. Branches intersects with each other, green leaves and purple flowers smile to each other. If you listen carefully, maybe you could hear that they are performing a spring duo. In Peony Garden, many kinds of peonies gather close to one another, with various colors and shapes. In China, the peony is an elegant flower, the king of flowers. Chinese people think of the peony as the symbol of peace, happiness, prosperity and affluence. The peony is often mentioned as China’s national flower.

In 1995, the chairman of the China-Japan Friendship Association came to Zhongshan Park and planted the ”Sun-Wen Lotus” seeds by himself to celebrate 15 years’ friendship between Xiaguan and Qingdao.

Sun-Wen Lotus Pond

Sun-Wen Lotus Pond symbolizes a friendly relationship between China and Japan. It is said that in the late Qing Dynasty, when Sun Zhongshan (孙中山) was in Japan, he was helped by a Japanese friend named Tian Zhonglong (田中隆). Sun gave Tian four lotus seeds as a gift to represent pure friendship. Tian Zhonglong asked a botanist friend to plant them and he later named their seeds “Sun-Wen Lotus”. In 1995, the chairman of the China-Japan Friendship Association came to Zhongshan Park and personally planted the ”Sun-Wen Lotus” seeds to celebrate 15 years’ of friendly city status between Xiaguan and Qingdao.

The Playground: Amusement Park

In this kid’s paradise you can hear the cheerful laughing and see the big smiles of children. Since 2009, there has been a theme park called Just High with some new games and amusement park rides, like the double layer merry-go-round and the deep sea monster. There is also a theme canteen called “Buddy Canteen” with an atmosphere of innocence and childhood.

The Qingdao Zoo and Cable Cars

It is located in the northwest part of Zhongshan Park, with a separate entrance on Yanan Yi Lu. There are almost 100 kinds of animals, including big pandas, little pandas, golden monkeys, lions, tigers, parrots, brown bears, and red-crowned cranes. Now you may ask, since Zhongshan Park must be a very large park with so many places (it is), what if I am in a hurry? How can I see it in a short time? Don’t worry. This problem has been solved since 1994. when two main cableways were built. One is from Zhongshan Park to Taiping Shan, the other is from Taiping Shan to the botanical garden. It only takes about 30 minutes for a round trip. You can go straight to Zhanshan Temple from Zhongshan Park.

Zhongshan Park Qingdao Flowers

Zhongshan Park Qingdao Flowers

Zhongshan Park Qingdao Pollen Petal

Zhongshan Park Qingdao Happy Michael Zhu

Zhongshan Park Amusement Park Rides

Zhongshan Park Qingdao Bench

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Parks
China Zhongshan Parks Seek World Heritage Status

Image Credit @ Michael Zhu

Avatar of Steven

by Steven

Thierry Migliorini 4.30

April 28, 2011 in Events, Music

Thierry Migliorini performs in Qingdao at the Qingdao People’s Hall on April 30, 2011. The evening’s program features Puccini’s Un bel dì vedremo (an aria previously adapted by Malcolm McLaren in 1984) from Madame Butterfly and more. The Qingdao People’s Hall is on the corner of Taiping Lu and Daxue Lu near Xiao Qingdao and Zhan Qiao. Tickets available in Room 107 of Bldg 3 in Creative 100 on Nanjing Lu just north of Jiangxi Lu. Call 8097.0303 for ticketing info.

When: April 30, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao People’s Hall / 青岛人民会堂
Location: 9 Taiping Lu / 太平路9号
Tickets: 60 – 280 yuan (RMB)
Info: 8289.7211, 8097.0303

Relevant Links:
Qingdao People’s Hall

Avatar of Steven

by Steven

Ekaterina Pushkarenko 5.02

April 27, 2011 in Events, Music

Ekaterina Pushkarenko performs in Qingdao at the Qingdao Concert Hall on May 2, 2011. The Russian classical guitar player will also deliver a lecture on guitar music on May 3 at 2 pm at the same venue across from Zhan Qiao on the corner of Zhejiang Lu and Lanshan Lu. Fields of Gold Guitar students are eligible for tickets discounts, contact Wang Laoshi on 136.8532.0970 for more info. Listen to mp3s of Ekaterina Pushkarenko.

When: May 2, 7 pm
Venue: Qingdao Concert Hall, 1 Lanshan Lu / 青岛音乐厅, 蓝山路1号
Tickets: 150 yuan (RMB); 300 for 3
Info: 136.8532.0970

Pushkarenko was a child prodigy on guitar, beginning at age 6 in 1990. The Irkutsk native’s playing has won her many awards such as the All-Russian Youth Guitarist Champion. She has appeared throughout Russia at music festivals and competitions such as the Moscow International Chamber Music Festival and the St. Petersberg Folk Music Festival. Pushkarenko is one half of a famous duo with balalaika virtuoso Andrei Subbotin and has studied with the Russian composer Kozlov.

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Concert Hall on Google Maps

Avatar of Steven

by Steven

Qingdao Jonoon vs. Dalian Shide 4.30

April 27, 2011 in Events, Sports

This Saturday Qingdao’s first division Super League football club, Qingdao Jonoon (青岛中能) plays at home against Dalian Shide. Check out more details and stats on the China Super League (CSL) and Qingdao Jonoon here.

Who: Qingdao Jonoon vs. Dalian Shide
When: April 30, 2011 (3:30 pm Kick Off)
Venue: Tiantai Stadium

Relevant Links:
Tiantai Stadium on Google Maps
Dalian Shide Official Website
Qingdao Jonoon Official Website

Avatar of Phil

by Phil

Jan Dawn: Red 4.30-5.14

April 27, 2011 in Events, Photos

This city provides fertile subject matter for those with an interest in the visual arts, so the information that photography as an aesthetic pursuit flourishes here and that Qingdao is home to interesting and talented photographers should be of no great surprise to anyone. One such image-smith is long-time Qingdao resident New Zealander Jan Dawn, a devotee of pursuits photographic whose expertise through the lens and whose intimate knowledge of her city of residence perennially yields a rich abundance of uniquely perceptive shots.

Event: Red by Jan Dawn
When: April 30 – May 14
Venue: Jinshixian Photo, 228 Yanan San Lu

Her always thought-provoking and often arresting pictures are testament to a level of commitment to engage with subject matter that is rare indeed to find. Her latest exhibition, entitled ‘Red’, is being held at the Qingdao Jinshixian Photographic Equipment Co. gallery (青岛金视线科技器材有限公司, 青岛市延安三路228号民政大厦一楼), situated at 228 Yan An San Lu, just a few metres up the hill from the Hong Kong Rd intersection. Look for and enter below the large and obvious Canon sign on the ground level of the first building on the right, and the gallery is towards the rear of the shop within. ‘Red’ will commence on Saturday, April 30th, and will run daily for two weeks, 8.30am -6pm.

Relevant Links:
Past Jan Dawn Exhibition
Jinshixian Photographic Equipment on Google Maps

Avatar of Steven

by Steven

Jacky Cheung 6.05

April 26, 2011 in Events, Music

Jacky Cheung (Zhang Xue You/张学友) performs in Qingdao at the Guoxin Arena on June 5, 2011. One of the Cantopop Four Heavenly Kings, Jacky is a Hong Kong based singer and actor with a strong following in China and Japan. He sings in Mandarin and Cantonese. Jacky’s hit songs include Goodbye Kiss (Wen Bie/吻别), which in 2006 was remade into the hit song Take Me To Your Heart by Michael Learns to Rock and Yi Lu Shang You Ni (一路上有你) from the Goodbye Kiss album.

When: June 5, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Sports Center Guoxin Arena / 青岛体育中心国信体育馆
Tickets: 180-1680 yuan (RMB)
Info: 5557.3637

Another extremely well known melody sung by Jacky is Zhu Fu (祝福). Listen to this song and others on Baidu mp3. Using the Hong Kong spelling of his family name, Cheung (Zhang/张) has performed duets with Sarah Brightman, Reba McEntire, Sandy Lam, and Wang Fei (Faye Wong). Truly a superstar in Chinese music, Jacky Cheung is a prolific artist with multiple hit records to his name, and a frequent live performer who last visited Qingdao in 2007. Tickets range from 180 to 1680 yuan (RMB) and can be purchased online or by calling 400.610.3721.

Zhang Xue You

Relevant Links:
Jacky Cheung Official Website

Avatar of Steven

by Steven

Electric Buses in Qingdao

April 26, 2011 in About Qingdao

Qingdao bus lines 316 and 31 now feature Sunwin electric buses, adding to the city’s electric bus network, which includes some of the vehicles on routes 2 and 5 in old town. Qingdao’s Bandao (Peninsula/半岛) News reports that the first group of buses are on a trial run in preparation for a future switch to increased use of the zero emission transport. The buses were made by Sunwin, a Volvo Shanghai JV company. They are being tested for their adaptability to Qingdao’s hilly terrain and coastal climate. Low noise and reduced energy costs are two more reported benefits of the electric buses, which can go between 90 and 120 km on a full charge. The battery life is said to be about 3 years, based on an estimated 1500 recharges.

Qingdao bus lines 316 and 31 now feature electric buses, adding to the city’s electric bus network, which includes routes 2 and 5 in old town.

Sunwin eco-friendly buses were previously used at the Shanghai Expo and are wheelchair accessible, with an adjustable chassis that also moves up or down to accommodate weather conditions such as rain, thereby avoiding excess water splash into the carriage. The vehicles are touted as completely safe from danger of electrocution risk. A new commercial electric bus power station (China’s first) is in Xuejiadao (Huangdao Kaifaqu Development Zone) in further infrastructure development of the electric transport industry. Electric buses service the route linking the development zone with Qingdao city proper through the Xuejiadao-Qingdao tunnel.

Relevant Links:
Bandao (Peninsula/半岛) News
Da Zhong (大众) Online
China’s First Electric Bus Power Station
Sunwin Volvo Buses at Shanghai Expo
The Expo’s Softly Whirring Fleet of Electric Vehicles

Image Credit @ Bandao

Avatar of Steven

by Steven

Mo Xiaopi 5.06

April 23, 2011 in Events, Music

Mo Xiaopi performs in Qingdao at the Owl Bar (sHooters) in the Olympic Sailing Center on May 6, 2011. Listen to Mo Xiaopi on Douban. Watch a video on Tudou.

When: May 6, 8 pm
Venue: Owl Bar (sHooters) / 猫头鹰酒吧
Location: Olympic Center Bar Street / 奥帆中心酒吧街
Tickets: Door 40 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 136.6886.6600

Relevant Links:
Mo Xiaopi Blog on Sina
Mo Xiaopi on Douban
Mo Xiaopi on Tudou
Olympic Sailing Center on Google Maps

Avatar of Steven

by Steven

Hoochie Coochie Gentleman 5.28

April 23, 2011 in Events, Music

Hoochie Coochie Gentleman performs in Qingdao at the Owl Bar (sHooters) in the Olympic Sailing Center on May 28, 2011. Listen to their music on Douban (scroll down for music player).

When: May 28, 8.30 pm
Venue: Owl Bar (sHooters) / 猫头鹰酒吧
Location: Olympic Center Bar Street / 奥帆中心酒吧街
Tickets: Door 40 yuan (RMB), Advance and Students 30 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 136.6886.6600

Relevant Links:
Hoochie Coochie Gentleman on Douban
Olympic Sailing Center on Google Maps

Avatar of Steven

by Steven

Qinghai Folk: Suo Nan 4.26

April 23, 2011 in Events, Music

Suo Nan performs in Qingdao at Sonospace Books in Creative 100 on April 26, 2011. The folk singer from Yushu, Qinghai province is accompanied by photographer Liu Lang and his images of Qinghai’s natural scenery and aftermath of Yushu 2010 earthquake. On the 2F loft of Sonospace, a smoke free environment.

When: April 26, 7:30 pm
Venue: Sonospace Bookstore / 不是书店
Address: 100 Nanjing Lu (Creative 100) / 南京路100号创意园
Tickets: 30 yuan (RMB), 25 Sonospace members
Info: 8080.9565

Relevant Links:
Creative 100
Sonospace Books on Douban
Sonospace Books Photos on Douban

Image Credit @ 北辕南辙

Avatar of Clay

by Clay

8 Questions: Qingdao Music Scene

April 21, 2011 in About Qingdao, Music

1. Is there jazz at the Corner Jazz Club?

In a word, no. The bar is on a corner though. They once had bands but DJs are less mafan.

2. Freedom Cuba Live House

Update Spring 2012: This venue seems to be on (permanent) hiatus :(
Veteran Qingdao music promoter Lao Zhang set up shop in Taidong on Tongshan Lu after the closing of both Owl Bar (sHooters) and a dungeonesque space under Tiantai Stadium. A real hero in the effort to bring more music to Qingdao, viva la Zi You Gu Ba!

8questions_qingdaolivemusic_ziyouche_Dishband

3. Any venue in town for original music?

Redstar in Room 401 in Creative 100′s No. 3 building. Redstar’s small stage has seen bands including Chinese indie heroes Carsick Cars and Rebuilding the Rights of Statues (ReTROS). Foreign musicians at Redstar have included Headache with Jim Black, Briggan Krauss, Peter and Tony Scherr, Michael Blake and Teddy Kumpel, Beijing’s Redbucks, and Finland’s Moses Hazy et al. Check out a video of Hollerado at Redstar here.

The main image above is from a ReTROS show at Redstar. Update Spring 2012: This venue has been dormant except for regular practice sessions of local punk group Dama Llamas and occasional Creative 100 related events. Call 8388.2269 for more info.

Other places to catch original live music in Qingdao include Cape 3 (coastal bar street in Polar Ocean World on Donghai Lu near Shi Lao Ren Beach), Freeman Cafe (in the triangle of Charlie’s Bar and LPG), King’s Head Pub, and the SY Experimental Theatre.

Cape 3 in the Polar Ocean World has hosted Nova Heart, IZ, Beijing Beatles and more. Their sound system is said to be the best in town. SY Theatre has seen traveling folk shows from labels like 13 Month Records.

4. Is there anywhere in Qingdao with live music every night of the year?

Club New York boasts a versatile house band that plays almost 365 gigs a year. The bar hosts occasional traveling acts, like Michael Bates in 2009, Dress Code in 2010 or the Beijing Beatles in 2011.

Lennon Bar used to be a regular haunt of the Canadian expat band the billKillers and has seen a steady stream of house bands with Chinese and Philippine players.

5. Are there any bands in Qingdao?

Local bands include Han Orchestra, Mr. Cat, The Dama Llamas, Firehouse, Bojue, Kamikaze, Demo, Overcoming, Fancy World. Some of these bands are dormant, coming alive from time to time for special shows. There aren’t a whole lot of gig opportunities for the less accomplished local bands. Band member attrition and turnover also plays a part in the relative lack of Qingdao local bands. Another factor is that musicians of a certain caliber who want to work and be recognized in their field migrate to Beijing.

Guitarist Ma Xiaodong of Escape Plan is a Qingdao native who followed the path to the capital – his Qingdao band was called Ma Yi. Demerit is one Qingdao band that has made it big in Beijing and toured the US on Vans Warped Tour. Pipedream Princess, Pungent Liquid, Four Lines Pane, and Li Zenghui are names not commonly known.

Online resources for more info: Yaogun.com and Rock in China Wiki.

There aren’t a whole lot of gig opportunities for the less accomplished local bands. Band member attrition and turnover also plays a part in the relative lack of Qingdao local bands.

6. What about modern Chinese folk music in Qingdao?

Venues which have hosted acts like Ma Tiao, Chuan Zi, Shan Ren, and more include Freeman Cafe (Jiangxi Lu near ssLPG and Charlie’s Bar), King’s Head Pub (11 Xinyi Lu) and SY Theater (26 Shunxing Lu in Taidong near the pedestrian mall).

Sonospace Books in Creative 100 hosts regular guitar forums with local Qingdao musicans and traveling folk singers/guitarists. Hostels like Kaiyue (Old Church Lounge) and Wheat (Maizi) also have folk shows, e.g. Frederick (Dalian), and Qingdao rockers/punkers sometime show up to play – especially on special dates like Christmas/New Year’s.

8questions_qingdaolivemusic_redstartectonicscherr

7. What about music festivals in Qingdao?

Historically, one of the best music festivals in Qingdao took place in 2004 on the Shilaoren beach. It was called Qingdao Rocks The Beach, organized by Alex Roy and friends, with around 10 bands on 1 day. It opened a lot of eyes and ears though it wasn’t until 2007 that Qingdao saw another large show, MAX 07. The following years have seen MAX continue to bring in great foreign and local talent for Redstar’s Music and Art eXpo.

The first Golden Beach Music Festival took place in Xuejiadao (Huangdao Kaifaqu Zone across the bay) in 2008, growing each year and becoming a summer event known all over China as a great 3 day musical party on the beach. Update: 2011 Golden Beach Fest was held on a square not the beach. Stay tuned for Summer 2012.

8. Are there any classical music concerts?

Qingdao classical music fans can attend concerts by the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra and visiting performers at the Qingdao People’s Hall on Daxue Lu and the modern Qingdao Grand Theatre in Laoshan district. Visiting conductors have included Lior Shambadal and Jan Latham-Koenig as well as Chinese violin prodigy turned conductor Hu Kun.

Another venue for classical music is the Qingdao Concert Hall, a vintage building across from Zhan Qiao pier that has hosted the Qingdao International Violin Competition for many years. The lobby areas of the Concert Hall contain photos and memorabilia from the history of the building, which is on the Qingdao Historical Register.

8questions_qingdaolivemusic_qingdaosymphonyorchestra2012

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Info – Rock in China Wiki
Yaogun.com Qingdao Bands