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An Israeli composer and accordion master performed in Beijing.

“I am not sure if the audience totally understood our performance,” Boris Malkovsky said after his folk group’s first show Sunday in the 2008 World Folk Song Music Festival at the National Center for the Performing Arts, also known as “The Egg.”

Malkovsky performed a matinee concert to a half-filled theater in a space that normally houses opera and seats 1,040. The Israeli program, conceptual and dramatic, was influenced by klezmer and Russian music.

Some of the crowd left during the Israeli set, though many who stayed said they enjoyed the Israeli music because it was more gentle and less cheery.

The festival at the opera house, which was opened last December, aimed to introduce Chinese audiences to world music.

Malkovsky’s visit comes after several appearances in China last month by Useless ID from Haifa, the first tour by an Israeli punk band in China.

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