Ángel Hernando, President: Dear Friends: We inform you that the Band of Gaitas (Galician bagpipes) Lume de Biqueira has just arrived to China, to participate in the China International Wind Music Festival. The performances will be made basically in the coastal city of Dalian, to finish in Beijing and a concert in the Great Wall of China.
According to our information, Lume de Biqueira is the first Spanish band (of any genre) that has been invited to participate in this festival and the second band of Galician bagpipes that acts in China, after the Real Banda de Gaitas da Deputación de Ourense (Royal Pipe Band of Ourense Council) , which he did in 2010, within the framework of the Shanghai World Expo that year. To this appointment comes with 40 members, and with the illusion of serving as a showcase for a part of the Galician culture and to show the variety of Spanish artistic events. We do not forget that, at this moment, China is the first economic power in the World.
The International Wind Music Festival of China is organized by local governments together with the China Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (CASBE) every year, since 2004.
The Band of Gaitas Lume de Biqueira is the artistic expression of the Albedro Association, a non-profit cultural organization based in Madrid, which was created in 1998 (thus, this year marks our twentieth anniversary) with the aim of teaching and disseminating Atlantic root music (commonly called “Celtic music”) and in particular Galician traditional music.
In addition, this year marks the 400th anniversary of the death in Macao of the first Spaniard to enter the Forbidden City. The Jesuit Diego de Pantoja, was the first Spaniard who could enter, in Beijing, in the Forbidden City of the Chinese emperors. He is considered the father of sinology and a precursor of cultural relations between the world in Spanish and China. For this reason, during 2018 the Diego de Pantoja Year is celebrated, in whose development they have worked among others, the Cervantes Institute in Beijing, the Casa Asia, the City Council of Valdemoro (where he was born) and the Confucius Institute.
Diego de Pantoja entered the Chinese court in 1601, reigning Emperor Wang Li, of the Ming Dynasty, and lived 21 years in that country.