The Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum is a villa with a simple façade built in the 1950s
The student card of Xian Xinghai in his time of study at Conservatoire de Paris (photo courtesy of Cultural Affairs Bureau)
Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum Opens Showcasing Priceless Manuscripts and Belongings
In tribute to the great Macao-born musician Xian Xinghai and in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of the Macao’s Handover to China, the Macao SAR Government has established the Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum to highlight his contributions to the nation. The Memorial Museum was opened to the public on 24th November showcasing priceless manuscripts and belongings of the musician.
The exhibition showcases a total of 36 pieces/sets of Xian’s manuscripts and belongings, including his identity document, manuscripts, violin, diary, letters, fountain pen and a suit jacket for concerts. Highlights of the exhibition include Xian Xinghai’s identity document in France during his study, which indicated his birthplace and parents’ names; two authentic manuscripts of the Yellow River Cantata, one of which written in Yan’an in 1939 and the other revised in Moscow in 1941; the violin he used during his performances and his compositional notes between 1940 and 1945. Through displaying the exhibits, the Memorial Museum hopes to deepen public’s understanding of the musician’s life. The musician’s items, from the collection of the Library of Chinese National Academy of Arts, will be on display at the museum for three months.
The Memorial Museum is divided into several sections, including the exhibition room, the discovery corner, the multi-purpose hall, the nursing room and the courtyard. In addition to introducing the life and the artistic achievements of Xian Xinghai, the Memorial Museum also features a multimedia discovery corner and a knowledge zone, where the public can experience the fun of conducting an orchestra and children can gain interesting knowledge about music and orchestra.
Xian Xinghai is hailed as "the people’s musician" and is renowned for his great achievements in the contemporary music history of China. Born into a fishing family in Macao, he meticulously sought for musical excellence, ingeniously integrated Chinese and Western music techniques and created many well-known masterpieces over his brief 40 years, which are all brimming with the cultural inclusiveness of Macao. One of his signature pieces, the Yellow River Cantata, was widely sung during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, which boosted the morale and stimulated patriotism of the Chinese across the nation.
The Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum sits amongst a group of villas between Avenida do Coronel Mesquita and Rua de Francisco Xavier Pereira, integrating itself into the cultural and historical context while enriching the cultural and tourism facilities in the community. Built in the 1950s, the two-storey reinforced concrete villa with a simple façade was previously under the Post and Telecommunications Bureau. The Xian Xinghai Memorial Museum is open daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm including public holidays and is closed on Tuesdays, with free admission.