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► Classical music performers go abroad to showcase China
A professional symphony orchestra based in Shanghai, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO), welcomes its 15th music season in September, during which approximately 50 concerts will be presented to the public.
The price of their concerts will be very wallet-friendly: 50 yuan ($7) and 100 yuan tickets take half of the box office of more than 20 concerts hosted by SPO.
Many renowned artists from China and abroad will be invited to play during the season.
SPO will perform some masterpieces by world-class musicians including Gustav Mahler (1860–1911), Anton Bruckner (1824–1896), Richard Georg Strauss (1864–1949) and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). Some of these works will be performed for the first time in Shanghai or China.
La Traviata, an opera by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813– 1901), will also be played on stage in the form of a concert. SPO plans to complete all symphony pieces by Mahler and Bruckner in the next two to three years.
SPO is also supporting Chinese original music. During the new season, it will stick to its commission mechanism and invite both Chinese and overseas composers to create original music.
For instance, it commissioned a Chinese composer named Yu Jingjun to compose a Chinese version of “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” for the opening concert of the season. The original version of this work was composed by British composer Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) for people who have limited knowledge on orchestral music.
Do it for the kids
Inspired by Chinese folk song “Mo Li Hua” (Jasmine Flower), Yu integrated some Chinese elements into the language of the Western symphony, so as to popularize the culture of symphony among the younger generations of Chinese.
According to Zhang Yi, art director of SPO who is in charge of conducting this piece, the Chinese version, which is only 17 minutes, helps make youngsters better understand symphony music.
He said that “Mo Li Hua” not only enjoys great popularity nationwide, but also attracts foreign audiences via the opera Turandot, which uses this folk melody.
Additionally, concerts of Chinese works will be featured during the season. Musical works about China’s reform and opening-up policy, the Belt and Road initiative, classic television series and movies will be highlights of the season.
Speak with a Chinese voice
SPO has been taking a more active role in promoting Chinese compositions at home and abroad. In September, it will present a concert in Hong Kong to celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up.
In October, it will perform “No.8 Symphony” of Bruckner together with Macao Orchestra in the 32nd Macao International Music Festival. The orchestra is expected to restart its concert tours about the Maritime Silk Road in November.
It will perform both famous Thai and Chinese symphonies in Chiangmai of Thailand. It will also hold concerts in Jakarta and Medan of Indonesia successively, inviting famous Indonesian performers together on stage.
In January of 2019, SPO will perform both Chinese and Western pieces together with the Philadelphia Orchestra at a Chinese New Year concert, which will be held in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, bringing New Year wishes to American audiences.
This story was a translation based on a report by thepaper.cn.