China National Traditional Orchestra perform onstage.

Win tickets to see the China National Traditional Orchestra’s first musical drama performance in London!

London’s Sadler’s Wells will host the China National Traditional Orchestra this month – and Panda Radio listeners have the chance to win tickets!

Forget what you know about classical orchestras, and don’t expect your average musical: this show combines the ancient and the modern, as the orchestra bring China’s first ever traditional musical drama Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage to a stage outside China for the first time.

The story follows a 7th century Chinese monk named Xuanzang, who spent 17 years travelling the Silk Road across China on a pilgrimage to bring Buddhist teachings from India. The story of his spiritual journey is told through music played with 73 traditional Chinese instruments found in areas along the Silk Road, including flutes, plucked string instruments such as the pipa and bowed instruments from the huqin family. The music is inspired by compositions from China’s many ethnic groups, including Uyghur, Kazak, Tajik and Han people. There’s also singing, narration, costumes and even light projections to transform this story of ancient times into a modern “multimedia spectacular”. Far out.

Musical director Jiang Ying, who spent two years developing the show with her team, says that while this kind of music may be ancient, it has “good genes” and can still captivate a modern audience. She says that “by presenting the story of Xuanzang, I hope to display Chinese music culture, the ethnic culture of China’s many ethnic groups, and folk customs along the ancient Silk Road.  I shall be in the audience at Sadler’s Wells – I’m looking forward to experiencing the show from the audience’s point of view!” You never know, you could end up sitting next to her yourself …

To win two tickets to the opening night performance on Friday 20th July, just retweet this pinned tweet from our official @PandaRadioUK account before 19th July:


Catherine Jessup

A languages nerd with a food obsession and lifelong music bug, CJ can often be found panning the internet for golden Chinese indie tunes and toting around culinary experiments in a fancy lunchbox. Host and producer of East Meets West and Reporter for and Find them on Twitter @cjessup_gbtimes