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U.S. arts envoy thrills Nigerian audiences in 11-day cultural diplomacy visit

U.S. arts envoy thrills Nigerian audiences in 11-day cultural diplomacy visit

Through cultural diplomacy, the United States shares the best of the U.S. creative and arts community with Nigerian audiences to celebrate shared values and promote collaboration, bringing the two nations closer together through music, art, film, and education.

From March 13 to 23, 2022, Pauline Yang, visiting U.S. Arts Envoy, and classical pianist, played to packed houses, taught emerging and established musicians through masterclasses, and interviewed with leading national media outlets across Abuja, Lagos, and Ibadan.

Pauline performed American, European, and Mexican piano compositions to over 1,000 guests who enjoyed a world class classical concert at the Chief of Mission Residence in Abuja, Consul General Residence in Lagos, Terra Kulture Arena in Lagos, and at the Manhattan Hall in Ibadan.

Her selection of pieces included a delightful mix of composers, styles, and eras from the piano literature featuring works by Bach, Scarlatti, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Liszt, and Bolcom.

To begin each of her concerts, Pauline performed Sicilienne, an original orchestral piece by the famous French composer Gabriel Faure, with Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard on flute.

Pauline gave an impressive performance of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 11, an exciting piece considered quite complex and challenging. Her rendition of the piano piece elicited wide applause from audiences across the three cities.

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During one of her media interviews, Pauline explained to students that U.S. universities encourage musicians to double major in a subject outside of music. She described what prospective Nigerian students can expect in terms of curriculum and opportunities for studying music in the United States.

“It has been so wonderful for me to see and feel the warmth of the Nigerian people.” Pauline said. “I am so lucky to be here in Nigeria on behalf of the U.S. Department of State as an Arts Envoy. My experience has been nothing short of amazing.”

Pauline’s passion for music and desire to share knowledge with aspiring young artists, as well as her passion to explore other cultures, resulted in tremendous appreciation from music students, arts enthusiasts, Nigerian cultural leaders, and alumni of U.S. government exchange programs.

Her cultural diplomacy visit to Nigeria was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with support from the U.S. Mission in Nigeria.

The Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, in Abuja and Lagos, support programs that bring American cultural leaders to Nigeria to meet, exchange ideas and collaborate with Nigerian cultural leaders.

Through these people-to-people connections, the U.S. Mission hopes to foster a deeper relationship between the people of Nigeria and the United States.