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Music Without Borders/Partners in Culture Prague–Taipei sister-city relationship celebrated in music

Taipei City and Prague signed a sister city agreement yesterday morning (January 13, 2020). In the evening, Mayor Ko Wen-je and the Taipei City government team hosted a concert with the theme of “Taipei Nights” for Prague municipal government officials at the Municipal House in Prague. The concert celebrated the two cities’ long cultural heritage and their decision to work together for mutual advancement.  
The “Taipei Nights” concert was jointly performed by the Taipei City Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1969 and a well-known ambassador for the high culture of Taipei, and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1995 and famous for its innovative opera performances. In his speech, Mayor Ko mentioned Prague’s annual International Classical Music Festival, which attracts music lovers from all over the world, and expressed his hope that through this musical interaction the people of Taipei and Prague would have the opportunity to come into contact with a different culture, so that in the future the two cities would be able to use artistic and cultural exchange as a springboard for interaction. He also expressed his hope that the people of Taipei would have the opportunity to hear the Prague Philharmonic and other Czech orchestras perform in Taipei.

In addition to the traditional Mozart flute quintet and Czech master Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12 (“American Quartet”), the performance also included “Taipei 1923”, a piece by emerging Taipei composer Shiuan Chang. This multimedia chamber music work consists of five pieces that showcase Taipei’s various cultural characteristics, and is accompanied by live broadcast of multimedia visuals that highlight the diversity of Taipei’s unique culture.

The closing piece, a Mendelssohn octet, was performed by eight musicians from Taipei and Prague. With only little time to rehearse, nevertheless the eight world-class musicians enjoyed superb rapport and gave a bravura performance of this Mendelssohnian classic, full of verve and brilliance, which the composer wrote in celebration of his friend’s birthday. The performance encapsulated the universal spirit of the theme “Music Without Borders/Partners in Culture”, while also marking a milestone in the friendship between Taipei City and Prague.
In addition to signing the sister city agreement, Taipei City and Prague also initiated across-the-board cooperation in a range of areas including tourism, culture, science and technology, and zoos. Taipei City and Prague are both hub cities with a unique mix of traditional culture and industrial innovation. In the future, the two sides are expected to continue to expand the field for exchange and dialogue, and work together to create livable, sustainable cities that make their people proud.