Noted composer Chen Qigang received the Order of Arts and Letters medal from French ambassador to China Sylvie Bermann at the French Embassy in Beijing on December 20, 2013, for his contributions to music.
Chen, 62, was the musical director for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and also composed You and Me, that year's Olympic theme.
Born in Shanghai, Chen was admitted into the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 1977 and graduated five years later. Receiving a government scholarship, he travelled to France for his postgraduate studies in 1984 and went on to be the final student of the renowned composer Olivier Messiaen until 1988.
Chen has won numerous awards for his symphony compositions and served as a member of the jury at numerous musical events.