Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Théâtre du Châtelet
The Théâtre du Châtelet is a theatre and opera house, located in the place du Châtelet in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. One of two theatres built on the site of a châtelet, a small castle or fortress, it was designed by Gabriel Davioud at the request of Baron Haussmann between 1860 and 1862. Named the Théâtre Impérial du Châtelet, it has undergone remodeling and name changes over the years, it seats 2,500 people. The theatre is one of two apparent twins constructed along the quays of the Seine, facing each other across the open Place du Châtelet; the other is the Théâtre de la Ville. Their external architecture is Palladian entrances under arcades, although their interior layouts differ considerably. At the centre of the plaza is an ornate, sphinx-endowed fountain, erected in 1808, which commemorates Napoleon's victory in Egypt; the Théâtre Impérial du Châtelet was built for Hippolyte Hostein's equestrian company, the Théâtre Impérial du Cirque, whose previous theatre, the Cirque Olympique on the Boulevard du Temple, was slated for demolition by Baron Haussmann to allow the construction of the Boulevard du Prince-Eugène.
The site for the new theatre was acquired by the City of Paris in October 1859, construction took place between 1860 and 1862. The interior designers included Eugène Carrières and Armand Cambon, the curtain was created by Charles Cambon; the theatre seated 2,200 people, although Haussmann claimed it held 3,600. The repertory, fixed by a decree of 20 September 1862, included military works and féeries in one or several acts, as well as dramas and vaudevilles. Hostein left as director in September 1868. Nestor Roqueplan ran the theatre from 1 July 1869 to April 1870; the theatre was closed from September 1870 to July 1871 due to the Franco-Prussian War. The war brought about the fall of the Second French Empire, under the succeeding French Third Republic, the appellation impérial was dropped. Hippolyte Hostein returned as the theatre's director in 1873–1874. Notably, beginning in April 1876, the stage version of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, adapted by Verne and Adolphe d'Ennery, began a run spanning sixty-four years and 2,195 performances.
It was only the Nazi occupation of Paris in May 1940. Into the 20th Century, the theatre was used for operettas and ballet performances, for classical and popular music concerts, it was for a time, a cinema. Regular seasons of opera and ballet were presented by a variety of impresarios, among them Gabriel Astruc, who introduced Diaghilev's Ballets Russes here. Igor Stravinsky’s Petrouchka received its premiere in the theatre on 13 June 1911, as did Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau’s Parade on 18 May 1917. In addition, many foreign composers and conductors made appearances in the theatre, including Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. Since 1979, it has been operated by the City of Paris, after undergoing a major restoration, re-opened under the name of Théâtre Musical de Paris in 1980, it was acoustically reverted to the Théâtre du Châtelet name. Shirley Horn recorded her 1992 live album I Love Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet. For a time it was used for opera performances and concerts; the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France have played there.
In 1993 the Philharmonia Orchestra of London began an annual residency period. Under the direction of Stéphane Lissner for four years from 1995, the theatre received additional improvements in acoustics and sightlines. In 2004, Jean-Luc Choplin became artistic director of the theatre, he de-emphasized classical music and dance performances and introduced more lucrative productions of Broadway musicals, including Kiss Me, Singin' in the Rain, 42nd Street, An American in Paris. In 2017, Choplin was succeeded by Ruth Mackenzie, appointed artistic director alongside general director Thomas Lauriot dit Prévost, who worked at the theatre with Choplin from 2006 to 2013. Allison, John, ed.. Great Opera Houses of the World, supplement to Opera Magazine, London. Wild, Nicole. Dictionnaire des théâtres parisiens au XIXe siècle: les théâtres et la musique. Paris: Aux Amateurs de livres. ISBN 978-0-8288-2586-3. ISBN 978-2-905053-80-0. Official website Floormic Profile
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
Ramat Gan is a city in the Tel Aviv District of Israel, located east of Tel Aviv. It is home to one of the world's major diamond exchanges, many high-tech industries. Ramat Gan was established in 1921 as a moshav, a communal farming settlement, in 2017 it had a population of 156,277; the mayor of Ramat Gan is Carmel Shama. Ramat Gan was established by the Ir Ganim association in 1921 as a satellite town of Tel Aviv; the first plots of land were purchased between 1914–1918. The settlement was a moshava, a Zionist agricultural colony that grew wheat and watermelons; the name of the settlement was changed to Ramat Gan in 1923. The settlement continued to operate as a moshava until 1933, although it achieved local council status in 1926. At this time it had 450 residents. In the 1940s, Ramat Gan became a battleground in the country's language war: A Yiddish language printing press in Ramat Gan was blown up by Hebrew-language extremists. Over the years, the economy shifted from agriculture to industry.
By 1946, the population had grown to 12,000. In 1950, Ramat Gan was recognized as a city. In 1955, it had a population of 55,000; the first mayor was Avraham Krinitzi. In 1961, the municipal area of Ramat Gan expanded eastward, to encompass the area that includes the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and Bar Ilan University. In 1968, the world's largest diamond exchange opened in Ramat Gan; the Sheba Medical Center and the Israel Diamond Exchange are located in Ramat Gan. Ramat Gan is located in the Gush Dan metropolitan area east of Tel Aviv, it is bounded in the north in the east by Bnei Brak. Giv'atayim lies to the southwest. Ramat Gan experiences an average of 500 mm of rainfall per year and is located, on average 80 meters above sea level, it is built on limestone hills. Ramat Gan parks include The National Park which covers some 1,900 dunams, David Park in the Merom Naveh neighborhood. 25% of Ramat Gan is covered by public parkland. Ramat Gan neighborhoods include: Shchunat Hageffen, City Center, Nachalat Ganim, Kiryat Krinitzi, Ramat Shikma, Ramat Yitzhak, Shchunat Rishonim, Tel Yehuda, Givat Geula, Neve Yehoshua, Kiryat Borochov, Merom Naveh, Ramat Amidar, Ramat Chen, Shikun Vatikim, Shchunat Hillel and Diamond Exchange District and Tel Binyamin.
According to the 1931 census Ramat Gan had 975 inhabitants, in 253 houses. As of 2006, Ramat Gan had 129,700 residents, on an area of 12,000 dunams; the population was growing at a rate of 1.0% per annum with 90% of this growth coming through natural increase. The population density of the city is 9,822.6 per one of the highest in Israel. In terms of the origin of Ramat Gan's residents, 42,900 originate from Europe and America, 10,200 from Africa, 29,200 from Asia, 40,600 from Israel. 86,200 of the residents of Ramat Gan were born in Israel, whilst 36,600 were born abroad. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, as of 2001, Ramat Gan's socioeconomic ranking stood at 8 out of 10. 70.9% of twelfth grade students received a matriculation certificate in 2000. That year, the average wages in Ramat Gan were 6,995 NIS; as of 2006, 32,100 of the city's households had people who were not in the labour force, with 23,300 of these retired. 1,900 of the households had unemployed within them. 43,000 households were employed.
The largest sectors of jobs for those in employment in Ramat Gan were business activities accounting for 18.1% of jobs, education, 15.1%, wholesale and retail trade, repairs, 14.2%, manufacturing 10.8%, health and social work services, 10.0%. Ramat Gan's economy is dominated by the Diamond Exchange District in the northwest of the city, home to a large concentration of skyscrapers, including Moshe Aviv Tower, Israel's tallest at over 240 metres, the Israel Diamond Exchange, a large Sheraton hotel, many high-tech businesses, among them Check Point Software Technologies and ArticlesBase. Located in the Diamond Exchange District is the State Bank of India's Israeli headquarters and the headquarters of Bank Mizrachi, whilst the embassies of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Belgium, the Netherlands, the European Economic Community, are located in the area. A number of other international embassies are located in the city, as is the British Council. Headquartered in the city is the Histadrut trade union.
Located to the south of Ramat Gan is Hiriya, the largest waste transfer site in the Middle East. Ramat Gan is an important center for industry and manufacturing with major fruit and vegetable canning plants, textile mills, metal production plants, electrical manufacturers, furniture makers, food producers based here; the Elite Tower, set to exceed the Moshe Aviv Tower in height, is being built of the historic Elite Candy factory. As a tribute to the history of the site, the lower floors of the tower will house a chocolate museum; the tower is set to contain luxury apartments, with an average price tag of $1 million each. At the end of 2006, Ramat Gan had three hotels, with a total of 408 rooms with 150,000 person-nights over the year representing 64% room occupancy; the mayor of Ramat Gan is Carmel Shama. Below is a complete list of mayors: Ramat Gan is home to Israel's second largest university, Bar-Ilan University, with 24,000 students; the city is the location of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Ramat Gan College, the College of Law and Business, Beit Zvi acting college.
Ramat Gan has 112 synagogues, two yeshivot, a Kabbalah Center. Ramat Gan has a Buddhist temple, a Scientology center; the Sheba Medical Center located in southeastern Ramat Gan and Tel HaShomer, i
A pianist is an individual musician who plays the piano. Since most forms of Western music can make use of the piano, pianists have a wide repertoire and a wide variety of styles to choose from, among them traditional classical music, jazz and all sorts of popular music, including rock and roll. Most pianists can, to an extent play other keyboard-related instruments such as the synthesizer, harpsichord and the organ. Modern classical pianists dedicate their careers to performing, teaching and learning new works to expand their repertoire, they do not write or transcribe music as pianists did in the 19th century. Some classical pianists might specialize in accompaniment and chamber music, while others will perform as full-time soloists. Mozart could be considered the first "concert pianist" as he performed on the piano. Composers Beethoven and Clementi from the classical era were famed for their playing, as were, from the romantic era, Brahms, Chopin and Rachmaninoff. From that era, leading performers less known as composers were Hans von Bülow.
However, as we do not have modern audio recordings of most of these pianists, we rely on written commentary to give us an account of their technique and style. Jazz pianists always perform with other musicians, their playing is more free than that of classical pianists and they create an air of spontaneity in their performances. They do not write down their compositions. Well known jazz pianists include Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson and Bud Powell. Popular pianists might work as live performers, session musicians, arrangers most feel at home with synthesizers and other electronic keyboard instruments. Notable popular pianists include Victor Borge. A single listing of pianists in all genres would be impractical, given the multitude of musicians noted for their performances on the instrument. Below are links to lists of well-known or influential pianists divided by genres: List of classical pianists List of classical pianists List of classical piano duos List of jazz pianists List of pop and rock pianists List of blues musicians List of boogie woogie musicians List of gospel musicians List of new-age music artists Many important composers were virtuoso pianists.
The following is an incomplete list of such musicians. Franz Schubert Ludwig van Beethoven Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Johann Nepomuk Hummel Carl Maria von Weber Muzio Clementi Edvard Grieg Franz Liszt Charles-Valentin Alkan Anton Arensky Sergei Rachmaninoff Anton Rubinstein Frédéric Chopin Felix Mendelssohn Johannes Brahms Camille Saint-Saëns Isaac Albéniz Nikolai Medtner Béla Bartók George Gershwin Sergei Prokofiev Dmitri Shostakovich Some people, having received a solid piano training in their youth, decide not to continue their musical careers but choose nonmusical ones; as a result, there are prominent communities of amateur pianists all over the world that play at quite a high level and give concerts not to earn money but just for the love of music. The International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, held annually in Paris, attracts about one thousand listeners each year and is broadcast on French radio, it is notable that Jon Nakamatsu, the Gold Medal winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for professional pianists in Fort Worth, Texas was at the moment of his victory technically an amateur: he never attended a music conservatory or majored in music, worked as a high school German teacher at the time.
The German pianist Davide Martello is known for traveling around conflict zones to play his moving piano. Martello has been recognised by the European parliament for his “outstanding contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values”. List of films about pianists
Leon Fleisher is an American pianist and conductor. Fleisher was born in San Francisco into a poor Jewish family, to immigrant parents from Eastern Europe, his father's business was hat-making, while his mother's goal was to "make her son a great concert pianist". Fleisher started studying the piano at age four, he made his public debut at age eight and played with the New York Philharmonic under Pierre Monteux at 16. He became one of the few child prodigies to be accepted for study with Artur Schnabel and studied with Maria Curcio. Fleisher was linked via Schnabel to a tradition that descended directly from Beethoven himself, handed down through Carl Czerny and Theodor Leschetizky. In the 1950s, Fleisher signed an exclusive recording contract with Columbia Masterworks, he is well known for his interpretations of the piano concerti of Brahms and Beethoven, which he recorded with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. They recorded Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25, the Grieg and Schumann piano concertos, Franck's Symphonic Variations, Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
In 1964, Fleisher lost the use of his right hand, due to a condition, diagnosed as focal dystonia. Fleisher commenced performing and recording the left-handed repertoire while searching for a cure for his condition. In addition, he undertook conducting during this time, serving at one time as Music Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in Maryland. In the 1990s, Fleisher was able to ameliorate his focal dystonia symptoms after experimental botox injections to the point where he could play with both hands again. In 2004, Vanguard Classics released Leon Fleisher's first "two-handed" recording since the 1960s, entitled "Two Hands", to critical acclaim. Two Hands is the title of a short documentary on Fleisher by Nathaniel Kahn, nominated for an Academy Award for best short subject on January 23, 2007. Fleisher received the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors. Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman described him as "a consummate musician whose career is a moving testament to the life-affirming power of art."
Fleisher's musical interests extend beyond the central German Classic-Romantic repertory. The American composer William Bolcom composed his Concerto for Two Pianos, Left Hand for Fleisher and his close friend Gary Graffman, who has suffered from debilitating problems with his right hand, it received its first performance in Baltimore in April 1996. The concerto is so constructed that it can be performed in one of three ways, with either piano part alone with reduced orchestra, or with both piano parts and the two reduced orchestras combined into a full orchestra. In 2004, Leon Fleisher played the world premiere of Paul Hindemith's Klaviermusik, Op. 29, with the Berlin Philharmonic. This work was written for Paul Wittgenstein, who disliked and refused to play it. However, he had sole performing rights and kept the score, not allowing any other pianists to play it; the manuscript was discovered among his papers after the death of his widow in 2002. On October 2, 2005, Fleisher played the American premiere of the work, with the San Francisco Symphony under Herbert Blomstedt.
In 2012, at the invitation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Fleisher performed at the Supreme Court of the United States. He has continued to be involved in music, both conducting and teaching at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. With Dina Koston, he co-founded and co-directed the Theater Chamber Players in 1968–2003, the first resident chamber ensemble of the Smithsonian Institution and of The Kennedy Center, his memoir, My Nine Lives, co-written with the Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette, appeared in November 2010. Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition of Belgium Leon Fleisher for piano Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences "Instrumentalist of the Year", Musical America Honorary doctorates from Towson State University, The Boston Conservatory, University of Cincinnati and the Cleveland Institute of Music Johns Hopkins University President's Medal. Fleisher received the Kennedy Center Honors Award for 2007."Instrumentalist of the Year", Royal Philharmonic Society Leon Fleisher: The Complete Album Collection, Sony Classical Records, 2013 Mozart: Piano Concertos, including 2008 recordings of the Piano Concertos in A major, K. 414 and K 488, with Fleisher soloist and as conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, of the concerto K. 242 with Katherine Jacobson Fleisher as second pianist.
Sony BMG Masterworks, 2009 Schubert: Sonata in B-flat major, D.960 / Ländler, Sony BMG Masterworks, 2008 Debussy: Suite bergamasque / Ravel: Sonatine / Valses nobles et sentimentales / Alborado del gracioso, Sony BMG Masterworks, 2008 Mozart: Sonata in C major, K.330 / Sonata in E-flat major, K.282 / Rondo in D Major, K.485, Sony BMG Masterworks, 2008 Liszt: Sonata in B minor / Weber: Sonata No. 4 in E minor, Op. 70 / Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65, Sony BMG Masterworks, 2008 Copland: Piano Sonata / Sessions: From My Diary / Kirchner: Piano Sonata/Rorem: Three Barcarolles, Sony BMG Masterworks, 2008 Brahms: Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34, with the Juilliard String Quartet Sony BMG Masterworks, 2008 Brahms: Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34, recorde
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script