SHANG­HAI HITS A HIGH NOTE

City’s sym­phony orches­tra is one of the old­est in the world and it de­serves to be cel­e­brated as one of the best, says its artis­tic di­rec­tor Yu Long. re­ports from Shang­hai.

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

The Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches­tra will be the first mu­si­cal en­sem­ble from China to play at the pres­ti­gious Lucerne Fes­ti­val in Switzer­land.

The orches­tra, led by artis­tic di­rec­tor Yu Long, will em­bark on a Euro­pean tour, with a con­cert at the Lucerne Fes­ti­val on Aug 20, fol­lowed by per­for­mances at Tirol and Grafenegg in Aus­tria, as well as the Elbphil­har­monie in Ham­burg, Ger­many.

“We are one of the best or­ches­tras in the world to­day,” says Yu. “We hope to per­form with dis­tinc­tion at what is one of the most renowned mu­sic fes­ti­vals.”

Ac­cord­ing to Shang­haibased Jiefang Daily, the orches­tra’s Euro­pean shows will be the “high­est level in­ter­na­tional tour any Chi­nese mu­sic com­pany has done”.

Few or­ches­tras from Asia have per­formed at the Lucerne Fes­ti­val, and the Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches­tra will also be the first orches­tra from Asia to play at the new Elbphil­har­monie con­cert hall in Ham­burg, says Yu

he Lucerne Fes­ti­val, founded in 1938, now stages three fes­ti­vals ev­ery year, which are at­tended by more than 110,000 peo­ple an­nu­ally.

The largest and most prom­i­nent is the sum­mer fes­ti­val, where in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed or­ches­tras and soloists per­form more than 100 con­certs and events in Au­gust and Septem­ber.

Among the big names on the 2017 lineup are the Berlin Phil­har­monic, the Am­s­ter­dam-based Royal Con­cert­ge­bouw Orches­tra and the Vi­enna Phil­har­monic.

“Just as Ger­mans take pride in the Berlin Phil­har­monic, I hope the Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches­tra can be the pride of ev­ery­one in China,” Yu says when meeting with the Shang­hai me­dia be­fore the orches­tra set off for Europe.

On the tour, the orches­tra will play works such as the But­ter­fly Lovers’ Con­certo by He Zhan­hao and Chen Gang, and Aaron Avshalo­mov’s sym­phonic poem Hu­tungs of Pek­ing.

The Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches­tra was founded in 1879 and was first known as the Shang­hai Pub­lic Band.

It ex­panded into an orches­tra in 1907, and was later re­named the Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil Sym­phony Orches­tra.

The orches­tra be­gan to make in­ter­na­tional tours in the 1970s. Since then it has been a fre­quent per­former over­seas.

“Look­ing around the world, you’ ll find few or­ches­tras with such a long his­tory — we are even older than the Berlin Phil­har­monic,” Yu says.

“The orches­tra is an im­por­tant part of the city’s culture and his­tory, and This year’s fes­ti­val con­cluded de­serves to be cel­e­brated. We with a con­cert fea­tur­ing the want to set the bar and show No 5 Sym­phony in D Mi­nor we are one of the top-level by Shostakovich, con­ducted sym­phony or­ches­tras in the by Yu, at the Shang­hai Sym­world.” phony Hall on July 15.

While China’s pub­lic has “We’d love to play more shown great en­thu­si­asm for mu­sic by Chi­nese com­posers,” for­eign culture, the world still he says, but there has not has to learn about Chi­nese been many “heavy­weight” culture, he says. Chi­nese works in the past dec

Yu has been lead­ing the ades. Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches“The Shang­hai orches­tra tra for al­most eight years. He .has been ac­tively com­mi­sis also artis­tic di­rec­tor Tand sion­ing new works, and been chief con­duc­tor of the China in close con­tact with young Phil­har­monic and mu­sic com­posers, be­cause the condi­rec­tor of Guangzhou Symt­in­u­ous birth of new work is phony Orches­tra. of vi­tal im­por­tance, not only

In Shang­hai, he has been for the mu­sic scene, but for the co-di­rec­tor of the Mu­sic in culture and civ­i­liza­tion,” he the Sum­mer Air Fes­ti­val since says. 2010.

The out­door fes­ti­val is aimed at tak­ing clas­si­cal mu­sic to a wider au­di­ence. Con­tact the writer at zhangkun@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

JIANG DONG / CHINA DAILY

Yu Long will lead the Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches­tra at the Lucerne Fes­ti­val in Switzer­land in Au­gust.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches­tra has fre­quently per­formed over­seas since the 1970s.

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