Intrepid insect joins classical guitarist for duet in amusing concert moment

3 November 2022, 17:43

Intrepid insect joins classical guitarist for duet in amusing concert moment
Intrepid insect joins classical guitarist for duet in amusing concert moment. Picture: Courtesy of Xuefei Yang

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

The little green insect heard the lovely music, and wanted to join in…

Over the years, all creatures great and small have tried to join in with the fun at classical music concerts – from bravely landing on flautists’ noses to pawing their way across the stage, like this four-legged intruder.

During an outdoor concert in Shenyang, China this autumn, Chinese classical guitar Xuefei Yang was greeted by what appears to be a rather determined cricket-like creature. “This little guy was very keen to say hello!” Yang captioned the video of the moment.

In the clip, which has been viewed more than two million times on TikTok, Yang recoils as the bug crawls up the side of her guitar. She initially tries to blow it away, to no avail.

As Yang continues to play, the insect begins to make its way down the body of the guitar, slowly moving towards her arm. Eventually, during a rest, Yang sees her chance and bats it away. A short-lived but sweet moment in the spotlight, for the little creature…

Read more: The mesmerising moment a butterfly landed on a flautist mid-performance

Intrepid insect joins classical guitarist for duet in amusing concert moment

This amusing moment took place at the Qinling International Guitar Festival in Shanyang, at the foot of the Qinling Mountains in China in July 2019. Yang recalled the moment in an email to Classic FM: “As well as being an attractive environment for people, it’s home to flying bugs too!” she joked.

“When I was playing my solo, a big flying bug suddenly landed on my guitar. I’m usually a bug freak and I had to control my natural instincts and not scream out in shock. Many thoughts went through my head at that moment: ‘Shall I stop? No, I am live on TV! But what if the bug crawls on to my body! I don’t want to kill it, maybe I should carry on until a natural break in the music. Ah! Please don’t crawl on me!’.

“I held on until a musical pause came before flicking the bug – thankfully it flew off. I felt so relieved. I didn’t think the audience would actually see that from a distance, but the TV cameras certainly did.

“Some days after, someone posted a video clip from the TV broadcast. It went viral online and quite a few friends sent me messages about it. The bug was a celebrity!”

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Yang added that she had never performed in a small city like Shenyang before. “It’s a relatively poor town, and the local government organised this big event to help alleviate local poverty by encouraging visitors to this beautiful area at the foot of the Qinling Mountains,” she said.

“As an artist, it was heart-warming to see so many children and local people come to the performance, they were so excited to attend a live event. It felt rewarding to bring live music to a corner of China that doesn’t usually experience it.”

Yang grew up in China just after the Cultural Revolution where western instruments like the guitar were banned. She persevered and went on to become the first ever guitarist to enter a Chinese music school and has since inspired people all over China and across the world to play the guitar.

In 2022, she recorded Magna Carta: The Complete Works for Guitar of John Brunning with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Classic FM’s Orchestra in North West England, and John Brunning, Classic FM presenter and composer.

Listen to Classic FM’s More Music Drive with John Brunning every weekday, 4-7pm on Global Player.