Cross Street Chapel welcomes Chinese talent from Royal Northern College of Music

Manchester’s Cross Street Chapel was treated to performances by two ‘exceptionally committed’ Chinese pianists last week.

Talented students Fangbin Xia, 20 and Chuyun Hu, 22 performed multiple classical pieces at the Cross-Street Unitarian Chapel on Friday.

Fangbin (above right) from Henan Province and Chuyun from Guangdong, who are students at the Royal Northern College of Music, entertained the audience with their piano skills including a duet and recitals of Mozart after being invited along to the chapel by Reverend. Cody Coyne and Catherine Coyne.

Fangbin gained an interest in the piano at the age of six before coming to England to develop her skills at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

“My parents were not musicians: my father is a doctor while my mum is a teacher, so I inspired myself to play the piano,” she said.

As well as playing the piano, Fangbin expanded her skills to the cello and flute while at the college. 

“I enjoy playing different types of instruments, but the piano is the most exciting one to play.”

Her friend Chuyun is in her fourth year at the college of music and was influenced to follow her dream of music and playing the piano by her mum.

“When I was three I watched a pianist on television and I wanted to play like them.  I then told my parents that I wanted to play like that,” she said.

“Since classical music originated in Europe, I felt that the standard of teaching would be higher than in Asian countries and so I applied to study in Manchester.”

Reverend Cody, who himself graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music and is the Minister at the Chapel, said they counted themselves lucky to be able to host such promising talent.

“We have many artists who perform here and Fangbin and Chuyun demonstrated exceptional commitment to the daily discipline of classical musical instrument training.

“Music is central to the spiritual life of Cross Street Chapel.”

Catherine Coyne, who graduated with honours in music from the University of Liverpool, co-ordinates the concerts at the Chapel.

“The standard of music we have been able to bring to the Chapel is astonishing and this performance was no exception,” she said.

The church hosts multiple events throughout the year for all to enjoy and it is wonderful to see this kind of talent from young people, both from the UK, Europe and East Asian countries.

On November 30 the Chapel will showcase annual Anthems for Advent in aid of the Salford Food Bank which helps to feed those in need and those who live on the streets.

More information about future events can be found at www.cross-street-chapel.org.uk/

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