As the days turn into years, music lovers embrace another opportunity to get together. Despite of all surrounding difficulties, the 21st Season of the China Philharmonic Orchestra still comes as expected.
This is also the third Season under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not a natural or man-made disaster has ever dealt such a lasting and huge shock to the industry of music performance since the Second World War ended. All the global performance institutions have been seeking to figure out what changes will happen to the industry in the “post-pandemic era”. A theory argues that the“post-pandemic era” has even not yet come, as the pandemic was still raging outside, and it is difficult to predict what the future will be like; However, shifting to an optimistic side, we have forged ahead in such an awfully tough situation, as we China Philharmonic Orchestra, created a large parcel of surprises for the audience during the 2020-2021 Music Season that has just passed. We comforted all Chinese people from different sectors across the country in the difficult context, fully demonstrating the spiritual power of music, and the spiritual outlook of the group like the China Philharmonic Orchestra. The Orchestra held its 20th-anniversary concert, which was postponed by the pandemic, in October 2020. At that concert, we celebrated a special birthday with five musicians who were all born in 2000. In October 2020 and June 2021, the Orchestra joined hands with Poly Theatre to hold two nationwide tours, refreshing the record of the longest and largest domestic tours twice since the Orchestra’s establishment. The Orchestra has gifted artistic enjoyment to numerous audiences in 20 cities. As symphonists, we know that nothing can be more comforting and encouraging than the applause of the audience. And it is none other than the pandemic that makes the feeling more precious.
On top of that, Chinese native musicians led the charge in the latest music season, as the overseas ones couldn’t come to China for performance as scheduled. They have not only fulfilled their duty of “filling stage vacancy”, but also surprised the audience with their spectacular performance. We are not only cheering for their excellent performance, but also feeling the significant responsibility we shoulder: As nobody knows when will the pandemic approach the end, we, as the first-class domestic orchestra, are obliged and needed to provide more opportunities for Chinese musicians to show their best techniques, and allow the audience to see their talent, so that they can assume greater responsibility for Chinese symphonic career. In such a way, we are committed to promoting the growth of Chinese music performance in adversity.
When you open the program manual in your hand, you will see the rundowns that carry our complicated emotions at this moment. On the one hand, as I mentioned above, many excellent local musicians will show their talents during this music season. Some of them are many familiar faces, and lots of musicians are working with us for the first time. On the other hand, we honestly and respectfully invited some famous overseas musicians, such as the conductor Dutoit and Ward, the pianist Stephen Hough and Gerstein, the violinist Kavakos, and the trumpet player Nakariakov. Each of them is a global superstar enjoying great fame, but they are all willing to make a presence in the post-pandemic music season at the invitation of the China Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance. Will these shows be put on as scheduled then? Frankly speaking, there are a lot of uncertainties. Even the medical community is vastly divided on how will the COVID-19 pandemic change. Under the circumstances, we are grateful to these overseas musicians for accepting the invitation of the China Philharmonic Orchestra without certain confirmation about the future. If the situation at home and abroad changes for the better, the mutual recognition of vaccines advances smoothly. If the international transfer of people initially returns to the level before the pandemic, we would like to welcome them with our warmest applause. If the control and prevention of the pandemic are still not optimistic, we will have to invite domestic musicians to “fill the stage vacancy” or make a plan B according to the actual situation. Your understanding and support will be much appreciated. At all events, the wish of the China Philharmonic Orchestra stays the same: trying the best to deliver a top-of-the-line symphony performance to our audience.
Finally, the long-anticipated Concert hall and rehearsal supporting facilities of the China Philharmonic Orchestra is under smooth construction. At present, some key node tasks have been completed. The concrete structure capping has been finished, and the steel truss of the concert hall roof has been upgraded. If you pass by Gongti East Road in Beijing, you can clearly see that the new concert hall has been built from the ground after experiencing the hardships and moving forward. It is under construction in full swing and is expected to be completed by the end of next year. At that time, you will be able to enjoy the new “Sound of China Philharmonic” there, which is exactly the dream we have been pursuing since its establishment, a brilliant achievement realized through 11-years of unremitting efforts by people with great vision and lofty ideals, and a marking monument of Chinese symphony music industry. We are expecting the day to come as soon as possible.
We are thankful for every effort made by the musicians of the China Philharmonic Orchestra!
We are thankful for the whole society’s care, concern and selfless help to the China Philharmonic Orchestra!
We are thankful for all the friends who share weal and woe with China Philharmonic Orchestra!