The Lincoln Center Festival staged an opera called Paradise Interrupted. It belongs to a familiar category of music: the Chinese-Western hybrid. We have seen a pattern: A boy or girl is born in China. He (let’s say) trains there for a while. Then he comes to America, for further study. He stays here, fusing the two traditions he has absorbed, composing those hybrids.
In the past twenty years, I have often spoken of “the Sinification of music.” Not long ago, I wrote an essay called “The Twain, Meeting.” And I have frequently quoted Lorin Maazel, the late conductor. When I interviewed him in 2009, I asked him about the future of classical music, and the first words out of his mouth were, “Thank God for China.”