Away from the rumble of Shanghai’s highways and the cacophony of the shopping districts, stroll down side streets filled with rows of tall brick houses. In the early evening or on a weekend morning, you’ll hear the sound of classical music drifting from a piano, played by a 10-year old or a grandmother in her seventies. Wander down another alley toward drab high-rises and you’ll hear Beethoven or Mozart flowing from a violin, or perhaps a cello, accordion or flute.
In China, classical music is booming as mightily as the 1812 Overture. It’s fortissimo in Shanghai, home to China’s oldest orchestra, forte in Beijing and other lively cities, and on a crescendo in farther-flung areas. Commanding Y100-200 ($12.50-$25) per hour, private music teachers in Shanghai can readily earn more than five times the average per capita monthly income.