Traditional arts and music honored at Golden Melody Awards

The 28th Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music were staged Aug. 26 in Taipei City, spotlighting diverse creative talents and Taiwan's rich cultural heritage.

A total of 18 prizes were presented to local artists and groups at the awards show organized by the National Center for Traditional Arts under the Ministry of Culture. Recipients included musician Chiu Huo-jung, glove puppetry master Hsu Wang, National Symphony Orchestra and vocal group Formosa Singers.

Speaking at the ceremony, MOC Minister Cheng Li-chiun said that traditional arts and music are at the heart of Taiwan's creative endeavors. The ministry is committed to preserving the nation's proud cultural heritage and to fostering an environment conducive to the continued development of time-honored varieties of music and theater, she added.

This year's award for Best Traditional Album was presented to Beiguan Luantan Opera by Miaoli Culture Studio for its exceptional renditions of classical works in beiguan, a music genre brought to Taiwan centuries ago by mainland Chinese immigrants.

The prize for Best Art Music Album went to Hero and Destiny, a performance of Beethoven and Wagner pieces by the NSO overseen by German conductor Gunther Herbig. Produced by Muse Art and Culture Management Co. Ltd., the record was praised by the judges for its outstanding performance technique in capturing timeless masterpieces.

Hero and Destiny also won the Best Interpretation Award in the orchestral category, with the prizes in the interpretation award's other two classifications of vocal groups and conducting going to Songs of the Earth�Choral Works of Ching-Ju Shih by the Formosa Singers and conductor Zheng Li-bin's Sketches of Taiwan performed by the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, respectively.

Bamboo flutist Chen Chung-sheng picked up the Best Creation Award in the music composition category for his album Playing the Role of God, which consists of musical representations of tales from Chinese folklore. Formosa Singers' Songs of the Earth�Choral Works of Ching-Ju Shih also earned a creation honor in the lyrics category, while the award's arrangement prize went to Wooontaful by Wooonta Trio.

This year's Lifetime Contribution Awards were presented to beiguan musician Chiu Huo-jung and glove puppetry master Hsu Wang for their decades of commitment to practicing and promoting traditional performance arts.

Launched in 1990, the Golden Melody Awards were divided into two classifications in 2007 to separate prizes for achievements in popular music from those for traditional arts and music. According to the MOC, this year's traditional awards attracted 1,098 submissions from 118 individuals and groups, with entries to the music publishing category registering a 35 percent annual increase, the ministry said.

Source: Taiwan Today