A packed programme combining the best music and culture experience possible!

As an overview, the tutti festival programme is carefully planned to combine an intensive music programme with the best of Beijing's cultural sights.  The organisers pride themselves on giving participants an experience that they'll remember for all the right reasons.

The music programme typically includes:
  • 5 master classes approximately 3.5-4 hours each. Master classes include individual discipline and working with guest conductors.
  • A concert rehearsal followed by a performance of own chosen repertoire in a formal concert setting for fellow attendees.
  • One other peer concert as an audience member.
  • Other informal performance opportunities: "toast 'n tunes" breakfast-time performances, flash mobs when we are exploring Beijing.
  • Faculty performances at Welcome Banquet.
  • "midday melodies" Faculty lunch time recitals.
  • "tutti festiva" featuring performances by:
    • tutti combined ensembles.
    • Faculty.
    • Visiting musicians and ensembles.
    • Traditional chinese cultural artists.
  • "Bye Bye Beijing" Farewell Concert featuring student performances in any genre.

Other opportunities
tutti also offers the opportunity for other culture based groups to attend and participate in a meaningful way. The activities of any such groups will converge and diverge with the music core of the festival. For example we can provide a stimulating and varied photography, media/film and television program, or a history/cultural program – our scope will be as wide as you want it to be! Students in these groups could, for instance, capture the real Beijing at early morning markets, in hutong street walks and visits to well known and out of the way places, attend their own early morning tai chi class at the Temple of Heaven, visit a Beijing Opera school, the National Theatre and the eclectic and ‘out there’ Art District 798. The possibilities are indeed endless. A multi-strand touring group may also assist schools in obtaining the critical mass to make the tour feasible. For these non-music groups custom itineraries will be prepared with relevant activities replacing the music activities. However these groups will attend all concerts/performances and social events throughout the event.

                     We're working on the detailed programme for tutti 2019 right now !  
Contact us for the most up to date itinerary. 
    “As a staff member, I thought the logistics were incredibly managed and the response to how kids and staff were feeling was excellent. We enjoyed the fact that the logistics were not our worry and that we could focus on the kids.“

Some brief information about a few of the cultural activities in the programme

Hutong Tour
A hutong is a unique form of community that exists only in China. If you are fed up with high buildings and wide streets, then enter Beijing's hutongs. Here, you will find "Hutong Culture" and "Courtyard Culture". "Hutong" literally means a small street or a lane between two courtyards, although the word can also mean a community within the city consisting of hutongs and residences. There are thousands of hutongs in Beijing City. Most of them were built in the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty (1271-1911). Every hutong has a name. Some hutongs have had only one name but others have had more than five names in the past. Some got their names from places such as Inner Xizhimen Hutong; some from plants such as Liushu (Willow) Hutong; some from directions such as Xi (West) hongmen Hutong; some from Beijing idioms such as Yizi (Beijing local people call soap as yizi) Hutong; some from good words such as Xiqing (Happy) Hutong; some from markets for business such as Yangshi (Sheep Market) Hutong; some from temples such as Guanyinsi (Kwan-yin Temple) Hutong, and some are even from the names of common people such as Mengduan Hutong. The oldest hutong in Beijing is called Sanmiao Street. It has been there for more than 900 years! The longest is Dongxi Jiaomin Lane. The total length of it is 6.5 kilometres. The shortest one had a name of Yi Chi Street because it was only a little more than ten meters long. Usually most of Beijing's hutongs are straight. However, if you enter Jiudaowan Hutong, you will probably get lost as you have to turn corners 19 times.
Tea Ceremony
Tea has been an integral element of Chinese life and culture for many, many years. The Teahouse was once the meeting and social point of every village. At the Tea Ceremony you will learn about a range of teas and what they are best used for since many teas have medicinal properties as well as tasting nice! Historically, a very popular activity for all of our touring groups and a pleasant introduction to Chinese culture.
Tiananmen Square
Located in the centre of Beijing and is said to be the biggest square in the world. It is 880 meters from north to south, and 500 meters from east to west, with total area of 440,000 square meters and can hold one million people. The Tiananmen Gate Tower sits at the north, the Five-Star Red Flag flies high on the square, the Monument to the People's Heroes dominates the centre, the Great Hall of the People is to the east and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History to the west. Inside the Chinese Revolutionary Museum are a lot of material objects, pictures, books and models to present the development of modern China. The Chinese History Museum shows a large number of cultural relics illustrating the long history and culture of China from 1,700,000 years ago to 1921 when the last emperor left the throne. The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the Qianmen gate, sit in the south of the square. Tens of thousands of people, both local and tourists, visit daily.
Forbidden City
Lying at the centre of Beijing, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong, in Chinese, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a six metre deep moat and a ten metre high wall are 9,999 buildings. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Devine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 metres, while the distance between the gates in the east and a west wall is 750 metres. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities although most of the Treasure was spirited out of the country to Taiwan by the retreating Kuomintang forces in 1949. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions worldwide.
Wanfujing Street
The street dates back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and has been China's most famous commercial street since 1949. It has attracted a raft of multinational corporations, famous chain stores and international management groups after undergoing three major upgrades over the past 20 years. Wangfujing, now considered the central heart of the city, is a fairly long street.  A walk from end to end would take you about 30 minutes, and that's without looking at any shops. The street has two major shopping malls, one of which, Oriental Plaza, sprawls a further 2 blocks to the east (and another 15 minute walk).  Wangfujing street is also home to a number of large department stores, souvenir stores, and whole side streets full of food stalls, Chinese painting stores and other goodies.
Xiushui Silk Market 
Xiushui is one of the famous markets in Beijing. It attracts domestic and foreign tourists with a huge selection of garments of every description, bags, jewellery, IT items, manchester and souvenirs all at bargain prices.  The first thing to note about Beijing's Silk Street is that it is not actually a street, rather it is a giant four floored indoor market. The second thing to remember is that very little of what you see on the shelves is actually anywhere remotely close to being genuine.  The fun of the place doesn't come in searching for the perfect bag or the best looking shirt, instead, it comes in the haggling. The golden rule at Xishui is that no price is fixed. The average sale begins with the Chinese salesgirl quoting a ridiculously inflated price. Customer and vendor then barter away until a price is reached, often one that bares no resemblance to the initial quote. - and the more you haggle the better the bargain! The Silk Market used to be a wholesale market where businessmen from Eastern European countries purchased clothes, and all business was conducted in English and Russian. Today, the Silk Market is a tourist spot where people speaking many languages go shopping, both wholesale and retail.
Acrobatic Show
In China, acrobats are revered much as prima ballerinas or opera singers are revered in the West, and it takes years of rigorous training to achieve the excellence demanded by this ancient art form. Children hoping to become acrobats begin their training as young as four or five years old.  Specific training with an acrobat troupe may begin by the age of eight. The basics - balancing, tumbling, dancing, flexibility, and strength are taught in the first two years, and students spend the next three to five years perfecting specific acts.  Eventually, they will do their first performances when they reach the age of sixteen or seventeen. You will certainly be amazed at their feats of balance and strength.
Summer Palace
Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called "Yiheyuan" (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. It is up to now the best preserved and the largest imperial gardens in China.  Situated in the western outskirts of Haidian District, the Summer Palace is 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) from central Beijing. Having the largest royal park and being well preserved, it was designated in 1960 as a Key Cultural Relics Protection Site of China. Containing examples of the ancient arts, it also has graceful landscapes and magnificent constructions. The Summer Palace is the archetypal Chinese garden, and is ranked amongst the most noted and classical gardens of the world. In 1998, UNESCO listed it as one of the World Heritage Sites. Composed mainly of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, The Summer Palace occupies an area of 294 hectares (726.5 acres), three quarters of which is water. Guided by nature, artists designed the gardens exquisitely so that visitors would see marvellous views and be amazed by perfect examples of refined craftwork using the finest materials. Pictured here is one of our groups forming a 'flash mob', much to the delight of the locals!
The Great Wall
To the northwest and north of Beijing, a huge, serrated wall zigzags its way to the east and west along the undulating mountains. This is the Great Wall.  UNESCO listed the Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, as a World Heritage site in 1987. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus stretching approximately 6,700 kilometres (4,163 miles ) from east to west of China. With a history of more than 2000 years, some of the sections of the great wall are now in ruins or even entirely disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance. The Great Wall was originally built in the Spring, Autumn, and Warring States Periods as a defensive fortification by the three states: Yan, Zhao and Qin. The Great Wall went through constant extensions and repairs in later dynasties. In fact, it began as independent walls for different states when it was first built, and did not become the "Great" wall until the Qin Dynasty. Emperor Qin Shihuang succeeded in his effort to have the walls joined together to fend off the invasions from the Huns in the north after the unification of China. Since then, the Great Wall has served as a monument of the Chinese nation throughout history. You will be astonished at its granduer and wonder just how they managed to build such a huge structure.

PLUS MORE!  In fact, lots more!!
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