I though it appropriate, since Chinese fever swept through the news media last week with the coming of Chinese President Hu Jintao to America, to do a post on a Chinese composer. Through my random Wiki selection process I selected Nie Er (聂耳).
Nie Er, 1912-1935, was born in Kunming, but it is important to note that his ancestors are from Yuxi, Yunnan. Now, the reason why Mr. Er is important to China and music is because he wrote the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China, March of the Volunteers.
In Nie Er’s short life he wrote a total of 37 pieces, all just two years before he died, and most reflecting the working class. A violinist, he played with the “Mingyue Musical Drama Society” and in 1934 he became a manager at the Baak Doi record company. Tragically, in 1935 Er drowned while swimming in Japan, some suspecting that he was killed.
Please enjoy March of the Volunteers by Nie Er.