Deutsche Grammophon anniversary concert held in Beijing
A concert celebrating the 120th anniversary of Deutsche Grammophon – one of the world’s oldest classical record brands – kicked off at the Forbidden City’s Imperial Ancestral Temple in Beijing on Wednesday, bringing overseas music stars and Chinese musicians to the capital.
Famous Chinese conductor Yu Long and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra opened the concert with Chinese composer Liu Tianhua’s Enchanted Night before an audience made up of people from China and abroad.
Highlights of the night included Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov performing Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with Yu and the Chinese orchestra as well as Russian soprano Aida Garifullina – who performed at the 2018 Russia World Cup opening ceremony – singing German composer Carl Orff’s cantata Carmina Burana along with British tenor Toby Spence, French baritone Ludovic Tézier and members of the Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir and Vienna’s Wiener Singakademie.
“It is my first-time cooperation with Maestro Yu Long and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, which I am very happy about,” Trifonov told the Global Times in an interview before the performance.
“I would say the experience to play in such a historical place is very unique,” Trifonov said.
“The gala concert was unforgettable,” commented Clemens Trautmann, president of Deutsche Grammophon, as quoted in a statement from the organizers.
“The concert’s historic nature was enhanced by its iconic setting in front of the Imperial Ancestral Temple and the walls of the Forbidden City.”
The Imperial Ancestral Temple is a national key cultural site that once served as an imperial temple during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and is now used to hold commercial events from time to time.
Major music concerts held at the site include a 2001 concert by The Three Tenors –Plácido Domingo and José Carreras from Spain and the Italian Luciano Pavarotti, as well as a 1998 performance of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot conducted by world-renowned Indian conductor Zubin Mehta and directed by Chinese director Zhang Yimou.