BEIJING, March 23, 2023 – The Palace Museum, China National Traditional Orchestra (CNTO) and Universal Music China (UMC) – a division of the world-leading music-based entertainment company Universal Music Group (UMG) – announced the launch of The Sound of The Forbidden City, a music project highlighting the creativity and innovation of traditional Chinese culture.

The event was attended by Mr. Wang Xudong, Director of the Palace Museum; Mr. Du Haijiang, Deputy Director of the Palace Museum; Ms. Zhao Cong, Director of the CNTO; Mr. Aaron Wang, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Brand Partnerships for Universal Music Greater China, and officials from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, along with other members of the Palace Museum leadership team. Mr. Wang Yuegong, Deputy Director of the Palace Museum, Mr. Tang Feng, Deputy Director of CNTO, and Mr. Aaron Wang of UMC signed the cooperation agreement on behalf of the three parties.

Inspired by the Palace Museum’s architecture and cultural treasures, “The Sound of Forbidden City project showcases the beauty and brilliance of China’s traditional culture as reflected in the Palace Museum’s collection. In addition to the installation at the museum portraying through music the changing of nature’s four seasons and 24 solar terms, there are plans to release a The Sound of Forbidden City” album this year featuring the CNTO together with other world-class musicians. UMG will distribute the album worldwide, and there are plans for The Sound of Forbidden City live concerts across China as well as an overseas tour.

In 2020, on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the completion of the Forbidden City, the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the Palace Museum, and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the CNTO, the Palace Museum and the CNTO had collaborated on their first joint project dubbed “Eternal Happiness of Chinese Festival,” the audiovisual concert that tells traditional Chinese festival stories through Chinese folk music. The project received positive feedback for its touring performances, which were organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism both domestically and abroad.

Du Haijiang, Deputy Director of the Palace Museum, said, “The Palace Museum and the CNTO share the responsibility of inheriting and promoting China’s brilliant traditional culture, and are missioned with extracting and displaying the spiritual traits and cultural essence of Chinese civilization, as well as enhancing the country’s cultural influence worldwide. I believe through this cooperation with the CNTO and UMC, the Palace Museum’s profound cultural heritages and rich academic achievements can be transformed into music works with Chinese characteristics, Chinese style, and Chinese majesty. This project will not only meet the spiritual and cultural needs of the people but also better promote Chinese culture to the world.”

Zhao Cong, Director of the CNTO, said, “The CNTO, the Palace Museum, and UMC have always had a deep friendship. This time, with the opportunity of ‘The Sound of Forbidden City,’ the three parties can work together for the first time. The sparks and forces generated by the collision and union make us so excited about it. Music knows no boundaries. I believe that with music as the medium, and the collaborative efforts of the Palace Museum’s cultural influence, UMG’s international network and resources, and CNTO’s creative and performing strength, ‘The Sound of Forbidden City’ will undoubtedly attract and bring together many world-class musicians and producers.” She further added, “I hope the project will interpret the ideas of ‘sharing the beauty and harmony’ through the music works with the loudest voice, the newest musical language, and the most fashionable artistic expression, allowing the world to feel the beauty of Chinese culture and the charm of Chinese music.”

Adam Granite, Executive Vice President of UMG for Market Development, said, “China has an exceptionally rich culture that dates back 5,000 years and the Palace Museum is a world-renowned treasure. We are proud to be working with the Palace Museum and CNTO to create an unparalleled musical experience and we look forward to inviting UMG artists to join Ms. Zhao and the incredible artists from CNTO in a musical dialogue that inspires and showcases to the world China’s rich and profound culture through music.”

Aaron Wang, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Brand Partnerships for UMG Greater China, said, “Universal Music China is committed to exploring and promoting local music cultures to serve as a bridge for cultural exchange between China and the world. Through UMC’s partnership with the Palace Museum and CNTO, we will leverage our global influence and resources to invite outstanding musicians worldwide to participate in the project, and further deepen our engagement with Chinese original music and create incredible works while introducing Chinese culture to the world.”

About The Palace Museum
Established in 1925, the Palace Museum is a public cultural institution housed in the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The magnificent architectural complex, also known as the Forbidden City, and the vast holdings of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and antiquities of the imperial collections make it one of the most prestigious museums in China and the world. In 1961, the State Council designated the former imperial palace as one of China’s foremost-protected cultural heritage sites, and in 1987 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

About China National Traditional Orchestra
China National Traditional Orchestra (CNTO) is the largest traditional music performance ensemble in the world, with the largest array of Chinese traditional instruments, comprising a full orchestra, a chorus, and departments for performance marketing and composition, etc. Founded in 1960 under the guidance of the late Premier Zhou Enlai, CNTO’s first President, esteemed composer Li Huanzhi was the composer of Spring Festival Overture and former Chairman of the Chinese Musicians Association.

To promote China’s fine traditional culture, CNTO has created and performed many high-quality folk music works, and numerous renowned composers, conductors, musicians, and singers have emerged, making outstanding contributions to the creative transformation and innovative development of China’s fine traditional culture.

 About Universal Music Group
At Universal Music Group, we exist to shape culture through the power of artistry. UMG is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content. Featuring the most comprehensive catalogue of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms, and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. For more information, visit