The China Philharmonic Orchestra’s 17th Seasons will unveil on September 30th, 2017. It is a couple of weeks later that before, but what we have in this brochure will not be disappointing.
For a long time, many people assumed that symphonic music, or classical music, is only for a particular group of people. This theory is obviously overthrown already, and music has reached to every corner of our society. From this standpoint, we are proud that China has made great social progress comparing to the west, but we also feel motivated. We are lucky to witness the golden age of symphonic music. 20 years before, there were only one good orchestra in China. Now we see the birth of new ones everywhere and box office records been renewed from day to day. We have more than 70 orchestras in China, dozens among them have their own subscription season. Optimistically, we see this phenomena inevitable as a result of economic and cultural development, and we are grateful to be a part of it.
Then there comes enormous pressure on our shoulders. We have made history in the past, and we shall never forget those unforgettable moments in the Vatican City, the Parlamento Italiano, or the BBC Proms. What the North American mainstream media praised our storming tour in the Americas still echo in the air. We will leave them aside for now and focus on the next season.
Season 2017-2018 is just like any of our previous seasons. It is plain and simple, yet elegant and tasteful. There is no need to exaggerate and I am looking forward to your appearance at the concert halls.
The China Philharmonic Orchestra’s Season 2017-2018 will be kicking off with a special concert featuring arranged classical compositions by Mr. Zou Ye, the orchestra’s Composer in Residence. This concert is a special tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms, who respectively receive 190 Years Anniversary of the Death and 120 Years Anniversary of the Death in year 2017. The China Philharmonic Orchestra is also honorably celebrating the centennial jubilee of the birth of Leonard Bernstein with a series of special concerts. Born in 1918, Berstein is one of the most important conductors and composers of the 20th century. His orchestral compositions as well as operas, musicals, ballets, incidental music and film music deeply influenced the development of composition since the second half of the 20th century.
Our Music Director and Chief Conductor Maestro Long Yu will be responsible for as much as 8 season symphonic concerts, in which will he conduct numerous musical works, including the new compositions from Zou Ye and Qigang Chen, as well as celebrated classics by Mahler, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Berstein. It also worth noticing that Meng-chieh Liu, who have consequently joined us for the past two seasons, returns with the two piano concertos of Brahms in a series of 2 concerts. Appearing with him on stage will be young Maestros Wong Kah Chun and Huang Yi, both born in the 80th.
Musical talents shine throughout the season as always. Two greatest violin masters of our time, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Maxim Vengerov, work with our orchestra in the same month. It will be fun to witness their musical dialogue. Xavier de Maistre, who is the most celebrated harpist nowadays, will explore the virtuosity of this uncommon solo instrument. Star pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, returns after 5 years with Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” again. Vocal powerhouse Klaus Florian Vogt will be showcasing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in his long-waited debut. Maestro Eliahu Inbal, who rocked Beijing 6 years ago with Singapore Symphony Orchestra at the stage of Beijing Music Festival, returns to the city for his debut with the China Philharmonic Orchestra, this time Bruckner’s beloved 7th. Also appearing with us for the first time is 73-year-old Sibelius specialist Leif Segerstam, who will be joined on stage by young Chinese violin virtuoso Tianwa Yang - a very interesting duo with huge contrasts.
The China Philharmonic Orchestra proudly presents a series of world premieres including Zou Ye’s arrangement of Brahms’s No.1 String Quintett, Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio, Richard Strauss’ “Im Abendrot” from “Vier letzte Lieder”, as well as a large scale symphonic poem “Wintertime by the Neva River”. We also present the world premiere of Qigang Chen’s violin concerto, as well as the China Premiere of Tan Dun’s Yi2: Guitar concerto, who was the winner of “Best Concerto” category at the 45th Grammy Award in 2002.
We are also honored to present a platform for the most talented Chinese musicians in this season. Pianists Meng-chieh Liu, Haochen Zhang, Yuan Fang, vocalists Yu Guanqun, Liao Changyong, Song Yuanming and Yang Jie, conductors Choo Hoey, Lü Shao-chia, Yang Yang, Xia Xiaotang, Huang Yi, Wong Kah Chun can all be found in the brochure. It is especially worth mentioning that Maestro Choo Hoey, who was the founder of Singapore Symphony Orchestra and a legendary conductor on the stage for over half a century, will appear with us for the first time. On a very special concert to celebrate Children’s Day, two very young musical talents, Maestro Yu Ji and cellist Namisa Sun will join and present the creativity of China’s musical next generation.
From last November to early December, the China Philharmonic Orchestra sets up for its “2017 Tour of Asia”, bringing musical compositions of Zou Ye, Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky to our music loving friends in Singapore, Japan and Chinese Taipei. We continue to set foot in college campus around the country with the best quality classical music as always, and our household brand New Year’s Concert broadcasts on the evening of December 31st, just as always as well. The construction of the China Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Hall is also underway, despite many difficulties. The orchestra will celebrate its 18th birthday in May, 2018 and at this special moment of becoming a “grown-up”, the China Philharmonic Orchestra keeps its promise to continuously bring new surprises and the pleasure of being with music.
It is my strong belief that there is no such thing as miracle in our career as servants of symphonic music industry. We have earned what we have through many generations of hard working people. There is no need to worry about symphonic music being invaded by entertainment, because what we have is an ocean of masterpieces, just as what we present in our seasons. It is almost a higher being above us, yet always beside us in our daily lives. What I also believe is, no matter how rough our journey is, the China Philharmonic Orchestra will always carry a flag that never falls.
I will see you in the concert halls.
My deepest gratitude to the friends who have always walked with us.
President, China Philharmonic Orchestra
In September, 2017