LSM Newswire

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shanghai Symphony Orch, historic N. American Tour comes launches at Carnegie Hall, Nov '09

This November, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO), the oldest orchestra in Asia and one of the oldest classical ensembles in the world, will make history as it tours the U.S. and Canada under the baton of Maestro Long Yu. Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China and the 130th anniversary as one of Asia's best-known cultural ambassadors, the SSO will bring a rare musical experience to American audiences. The tour launches Tuesday, November 10th in New York City at Carnegie Hall.

As the Music Director of the SSO, China Philharmonic and Guangzhou Symphony and as the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Beijing Music Festival, Maestro Long Yu has also made appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg State Opera, and the Sydney Symphony, among many others.

One of the most influential leaders of the classical music scene in China today, Long Yu has a bold vision for the future of SSO. Only in his first year as its Music Director, Maestro Yu has rebuilt and re-energized the orchestra by inviting some of the finest international players, who were hand picked through recent auditions in New York and Berlin.

"I am honored to become the Music Director of the extraordinary Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, whose past is legendary and whose future is full of endless possibility" says Maestro Long Yu "Because of its high artistic level and bold approach to classical music, this ensemble is in a unique position to serve as a cultural bridge between the East and the West. The musicians, the staff and myself are looking forward to sharing the legacy of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra with new audiences in China and worldwide."

Both at home and on tour SSO frequently features the world's brightest classical stars, including Lang Lang, who will perform Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18. Along with the standard Western Repertoire, SSO consistently programs new music, including Chen Qigang's iconic Iris dvoile, which will be performed in the composer's presence at Carnegie Hall, as part of the Ancient Paths, Modern Voices festival celebrating Chinese culture.

The program of the 12-city North American tour will also include China Air Suite by another living Chinese composer Bao Yuan Kai. Guest soloists will be the up-and-coming Chinese pianists Yuja Wang and Peng Peng. During the two weeks following the Carnegie Hall performance SSO will travel across the North American continent, visiting Fairfax, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Toronto, etc.

Formed in 1879, SSO has always promoted the European classical tradition and trained Chinese musicians in this style, bridging the gap between East and West. Having played over 10,000 concerts, this esteemed ensemble has an extensive discography, which includes the soundtrack of the Oscar and Grammy-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

TOUR SCHEDULE & PROGRAM

Tues, Nov 10, 2009 NEW YORK, NY
Isaac Stern Hall, Carnegie Hall
Soloist: Lang Lang, piano
Program: RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2; CHEN QIGANG, Iris dvoile
For tickets: 212-247-7800, www.carnegiehall.org

Wed, Nov 11, 2009 WORCESTER, MA
Mechanics Hall
Soloist: Yuja Wang, piano
Program: MUSSORGSKY, Khovantchina: Intro (DawnĶMoscow River); RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2; CHEN QIGANG, Iris dvoile
For tickets 508-752-0888, www.mechanicshall.org

Thu, Nov 12, 2009 NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ
State Theatre, Regional Arts Center
Soloist: Yuja Wang, piano
Program: MUSSORGSKY, Khovantchina: Intro (DawnĶMoscow River); RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2; CHEN QIGANG, Iris dvoile
For tickets: 732-246-7469, www.statetheatrenj.org

Fri, Nov 13, 2009 GREENVALE, NY
North Fork Hall, Tilles Center
Soloist: Yuja Wang, piano
Program: TCHAIKOVSKY, Romeo and Juliet Overture; BAO YUANKAI, China Air Suite; RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2
For tickets 516-299-3100, www.tillescenter.org

Sat, Nov 14, 2009 FAIRFAX, VA
Center for the Arts , George Mason Univ.
Soloist: Peng Peng, piano
Program: TCHAIKOVSKY, Romeo and Juliet Overture; BAO YUANKAI, China Air Suite; RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2
For tickets: 888-945-2468/703-993-2787, www.gmu.edu/cfa/

Mon, Nov 16, 2009 TORONTO, ON, CANADA
Roy Thomson Hall
Soloist Yuja Wang, piano
Program: MUSSORGSKY, Khovantchina: Intro (DawnĶMoscow River); RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2; CHEN QIGANG, Iris dvoile
For tickets: 416-872-4255, www.roythomson.com

Thu, Nov 19, 2009 LA JOLLA, CA
Copley Symphony Hall
Soloist: Yuja Wang, piano
Program: TCHAIKOVSKY, Romeo and Juliet Overture; BAO YUANKAI, China Air Suite; RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2
For tickets: 858-459-3728, www.ljms.org/Performances-and-Tickets/Venues-and-Directions/Copley-Symphony-Hall.html

Fri, Nov 20, 2009 SANTA BARBARA, CA
Grenada Theatre
Soloist: Yuja Wang, piano
Program: MUSSORGSKY, Khovantchina: Intro (DawnĶMoscow River); RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2; CHEN QIGANG, Iris dvoile
For tickets: 805-899-2222, www.camasb.org

Sat, Nov 21, 2009 DAVIS, CA
Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center
Soloist: Yuja Wang, piano
Program: TCHAIKOVSKY, Romeo and Juliet Overture; BAO YUANKAI, China Air Suite; RACHMANINOFF, Piano
For tickets 530-754-2787, www.mondaviarts.org

Sun, Nov 22, 2009 BERKELEY, CA
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley
Soloist Yuja Wang, piano
Program: MUSSORGSKY, Khovantchina: Intro (DawnĶMoscow River); RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2; CHEN QIGANG, Iris dvoile
For tickets: 510-642-9988, www.calperfs.berkeley.edu

Tue, Nov 24, 2009 COSTA MESA, CA
Segerstrom Concert Hall
Soloist Yuja Wang, piano
Program: MUSSORGSKY, Khovantchina: Intro (DawnĶMoscow River); RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2; CHEN QIGANG, Iris dvoile
For tickets: 949-553-2422, www.philharmonicsociety.org

Wed, Nov 25, 2009 PALM DEERT, CA
McCallum Theatre
Program: MUSSORGSKY, Khovantchina: Intro (DawnĶMoscow River); RACHMANINOFF, Piano Concerto No. 2; CHEN QIGANG, Iris dvoile
For tickets: 760-340-1787, www.mccallumtheatre.com


ABOUT THE ARTISTS
LONG YU, Music Director and Conductor, will conduct all 12 concerts with various artists during the SSO North American Tour 2009. Programs including Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, Iris dvoile by Chen Qigang, Khovantchina: Intro by Mussorgsky, China Air Suite by Bao Yuankai, and Romeo and Juliet Overture by Tchaikovsky. As one of the most distinguished Chinese conductors with an established international reputation, Maestro Long Yu is currently Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, President of the Beijing Music Festival Artistic Committee and President of the Artistic Committee of the Shanghai Oriental Center. Besides his concerts throughout the year with the China Philharmonic and the Guangzhou Symphony, Long Yu has appeared with the world's major orchestras and opera companies, including the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, the Hamburg State Opera, the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Leipzig, the Budapest Radio Symphony Orchestra, Le Theatre de Nice, the Ireland National Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. Long Yu was born in Shanghai in 1964 into a family of musicians. He received his early music education from his grandfather Ding Shande, a celebrated composer and an educator of high prestige. This prepared him for the rigorous formal music education he subsequently received first at the Shanghai Music Conservatory and then at the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin. In 1992, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing. In the same year, he was involved in organizing the inaugural Beijing New Year's Concert, now an annual event, and served as its conductor for three successive years. In 1998, he founded the Beijing Music Festival held the position of Artistic Director and has been President of the Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation since 2005. Under his leadership the Beijing Music Festival has become one of the internationally acclaimed festivals. Along with numerous performances by world-renowned ensembles and artists, the festival has been commissioning new music from composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Philip Glass and Guo Wenjing. In 2000, Long Yu co-founded the China Philharmonic Orchestra and was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. Now entering his 7th season with the CPO, he has maintained the high standard of orchestral performance and artistic administration. In 2003, Long Yu was appointed the Music Director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. He has toured extensively with the China Philharmonic and the Guangzhou Symphony. From February to April 2005, the China Philharmonic Orchestra took an international tour under the baton of Maestro Long Yu. Within 40 days they appeared in 22 cities throughout North America and Europe. This is the first time a symphony orchestra gave performances in the two continents in China's history, a tour de force even among orchestras all over the world. Mr. Long Yu's recordings include, on Deutsche Grammophon with the China Philharmonic, Brahms's Piano Quartet in G Minor (orch. Arnold Schoenberg) and Wagner's Tannhuser Overture, highlights of Chinese symphonic music and Yellow River Concerto with Lang Lang. Recordings on Naxos include Korngold's Violin Concerto and Ding Shande's Long March Symphony. Long Yu received the 2002 Montblanc Arts Patronage Award from the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, and in 2003 came Le grade de chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres (The Honor of Chevalier of French Art and Culture) from the Government of France. In 2005, Italian President honored Maestro Long Yu L'onorificenza di commendatore.

LANG LANG, pianist, will play Rachmaninoff Piano Concert No. 2 with SSO as the soloist on Nov. 10, 2009 at Carnegie Hall, which is the opening concert of SSO North American Tour, and also the closing ceremony of the China Festival at Carnegie Hall. Heralded as the "hottest artist on the classical music planet" by the New York Times, 27-year-old Lang Lang has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the top American orchestras. Testimony to his success, Lang Lang recently appeared in the 2009 Time 100 Time magazine's annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2008, over five billion people viewed Lang Lang's performance in Beijing's opening ceremony for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad where he was seen as a symbol of the youth and future of China. This status has inspired over 40 million Chinese children to learn to play classical piano a phenomenon coined by The Today Show as "the Lang Lang effect." Recognizing Lang Lang's powerful cultural influence, in 2008, the Recording Academy named him their Cultural Ambassador to China. Most recently, Lang Lang has been chosen as an official worldwide ambassador to the 2010 Shanghai Expo. Continuing his presence on the world stage, Lang Lang was featured at the 2008 Grammy's, pairing up with jazz great Herbie Hancock,for an astounding performance that was broadcast live to 45 million viewers worldwide. The two pianists continued their collaboration with an inaugural world tour in summer 2009. ĮĮLang Lang has made it his mission to share classical music around the world, with an emphasis on training children and young musicians through education and outreach programs. To that effect, in October 2008 he launched the Lang Lang International Music Foundation in New York with the support of the Grammy's and UNICEF. The Lang Lang International Music Foundation was created to enrich the lives of children through a deeper understanding and enjoyment of classical music and to inspire and financially support the next generation of musicians. In May 2009, Lang Lang and his three chosen scholars from the foundation aged between 8 and 10 years old performed together on The Oprah Winfrey Show on "Oprah's Search for the World's Most Smartest and Most Talented Kids." Lang Lang also continues to give master classes regularly throughout the world at the invitation of the most prestigious music institutions, including the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music and Hanover Conservatory, as well as all the top conservatories of China where he holds honorary professorships. He has held music residencies in Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, London, Rome and Stockholm, which include master classes for exceptional students. In addition to his numerous commitments, Lang Lang holds the title of the first Ambassador of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. His role in this groundbreaking project created by YouTube and Google reflects his devotion to building new audiences and bringing classical music to young people worldwide. In 2009, Lang Lang continues his busy touring schedule around the world. As the youngest instrumentalist to ever receive an invitation, Lang Lang will also be in residence with the Berlin Philharmonic - where, among other shows, he will perform on the New Year's Eve concert with 100 school children from Berlin. Furthermore, Lang Lang will also be featured in a special tour of Japan with the Vienna Philharmonic. www.langlang.com

YUJA WANG, pianist, will play Rachmaninoff Piano Concert No. 2 in 10 of the 12 concerts with SSO during the tour as the soloist. Wang's performance dates: Nov. 11, 2009 in Worcester, MA; Nov. 12, 2009 in New Brunswick, NJ; Nov. 13, 2009 in Greenvale, NJ; Nov. 16, 2009 in Toronto, Canada; Nov. 19, 2009 in La Jolla, Canada; Nov. 20, 2009 in Santa Barbara, CA; Nov. 21, 2009 in Davis, CA; Nov. 22, 2009 in Berkeley, CA; Nov. 24, 2009 in Costa Mesa, CA; Nov. 25, 2009 in Palm Desert, CA. Twenty-two year old Chinese pianist Yuja Wang is widely recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Yuja's command of the piano has been described as "astounding" and "superhuman," and she has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire, the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and graceful, charismatic stage presence. Yuja has already performed with many of the world's leading orchestras including the Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, National, New World, and San Francisco symphonies, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the U.S., and abroad with the Tonhalle Orchestra, the China, London and Nagoya philharmonics, the NHK Symphony and Orchestra Mozart. In 2006 Yuja made her New York Philharmonic debut at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and performed with the orchestra the following season under Lorin Maazel during the Philharmonic's Japan/Korea visit. In 2008, she toured the U.S. with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields led by Sir Neville Marriner and in 2009 Yuja performed as a soloist with the You Tube Symphony Orchestra. Yuja has given recitals in major cities throughout North America and abroad, makes regular appearances at festivals, and is a dedicated performer of chamber music. Highlights of Yuja's 2009-10 season include her recent Carnegie Hall orchestral debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's piano concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her tour of the U.S. with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, she will tour with the Russian National Orchestra and perform with the Indianapolis, New World and San Francisco symphonies, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Beijing, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and Spain, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. She will give recitals in San Francisco, Vancouver, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, among other cities worldwide, and will return to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Verbier Festival in the summer of 2010. Yuja is an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon. Her debut recording, titled Sonatas & Etudes, was released in the spring of 2009. Born in Beijing, Yuja began studying piano at age six, and then at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. After attending three Morningside Music summer programs at Calgary's Mount Royal College from 1999-2001, she moved to Canada to study at the Mount Royal College Conservatory. Yuja moved to the U.S. at 15 to study with Gary Graffman at The Curtis Institute of Music, where she graduated in 2008. In 2006 Yuja received the Gilmore Young Artist Award.

PENG PENG, pianist, will perform Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 as pianist on Nov. 14, 2009 in Fairfax, CA. Born in China, 16-year-old pianist and composer Peng Peng began piano lessons at the age of five and gave his first public recital in Nanjing at the age of eight. In 2002 he made his concerto debut with the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1. He appeared on NPR's From the Top and performed in Red Cross benefits at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall. Peng Peng made his Lincoln Center debut performing in Alice Tully Hall with Itzhak Perlman conducting the Julliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with the Aspen Festival Orchestra led by Leonard Slatkin and made his European debut at Muse de Louvre. Peng Peng was also on the Spring 2006 national TV broadcast of PBS' Live from Lincoln Center as part of Juilliard's Celebrating 100 Years Gala in which he performed the opening movement of Rachmaninofff's Second Piano Concertoio with conductor/composer John Williams. In February 2007, he performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the San Francisco Symphony for their Chinese New Year celebration concert, and again joined the symphony twice in 2008 with pianist/composer Conrad Tao. In the 2007 Peng Peng appeared as guest soloist at the 2007 American Symphony Orchestra League Conference with the conference sponsoring orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, conducted by Mr. Slatkin. In September 2007 he again joined Mr. Slatkin for the National Symphony's opening season gala. This season he will give recitals in Florida, Missouri, and San Jose, and perform in Beijing with the China National Symphony. Peng Peng has won numerous competitions including the Junior Category of the 2005 New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra's competition and the Juilliard School's 2003-04 and 2005-06 Pre-College Mozart Piano Concerto Competitions. Over the past two seasons he has appeared with the Big Spring Symphony, Philharmonic of New Jersey, Midland-Odessa Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Corpus Christi Symphony, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Norwalk Symphony, Nashua Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Nashville Symphony, U.S. National Symphony, Dominican Republic National Symphony, RTV Slovenia Symphony, Brazilian National Symphony, and California Symphony. He has also given recitals throughout the United States and China. An avid composer, Peng Peng studies composition at Juilliard with Andrew Thomas. He has written numerous works for piano, chamber ensembles and orchestras. In 2006, Peng Peng won an ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Award, the Charlotte V. Bergen Scholarship, for his piano work "Immortal Struggle." His work, "Exit, Stage Left!," "Scherzo for Orchestra" won the 2004-05 Juilliard Pre-College Division Composition Competition. Peng Peng currently studies piano with Yoheved Kaplinsky at Juilliard. http://www.opus3artists.com/artists/peng-peng

XIAODUO CHEN, Soprano, will perform as the first soprano in Qigang Chen's Iris dvoile on the following dates: Nov 10, 2009 in New York, NY; Nov 11, 2009 in Worcester, MA; Nov 12, 2009 in New Brunswick, NJ; Nov 16, 2009 in Toronto, Canada; Nov 20, 2009 in Santa Barbara, CA; Nov 22, 2009 in Berkeley, CA; Nov 24, 2009 in Costa Mesa, CA; Nov 25, 2009 in Palm Desert, CA An active performer in China and around the world, Xiaoduo Chen was a prizewinner at Beijing's 2004 National Singing Competition and Belgium's Queen Elizabeth Competition. Ms. Chen won the 2001 Vera Rosa Award for most promising singer in Belgium and the 2002 Best New Singer award in Taiwan. She has performed with the China Philharmonic, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and at the Central Opera House of China. In 2004 she was asked to serve as a cultural ambassador by China's Ministry of Culture. She studied at the China Conservatory of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. Touring across the United States and Canada, Ms. Chen received critical acclaim as the lead role in the musical Terracotta Warriors. She performed at the Gwangju Jungyoulsung International Music Festival in Korea and toured as a guest performer with Italian singer Renzo Arbore. In 2006 she sang the lead role in the Chinese opera Ms. Du Shi Niang at the Central Opera House.

MENG MENG, Soprano, will perform as the second soprano in Qigang Chen's Iris dvoile on the following dates: Nov 10, 2009 in New York, NY; Nov 11, 2009 in Worcester, MA; Nov 12, 2009 in New Brunswick, NJ; Nov 16, 2009 in Toronto, Canada; Nov 20, 2009 in Santa Barbara, CA; Nov 22, 2009 in Berkeley, CA; Nov 24, 2009 in Costa Mesa, CA; Nov 25, 2009 in Palm Desert, CA. Meng Meng, currently a student at the China Conservatory of Music, was admitted to the Shan Dong Opera School at age twelve, where she won first prize in the New Talents Cup and second prize in the A Cappella Group competition. Ms. Meng has performed in many productions at the Qing Dao Theater and sang in the Chinese ballet Da Hong Deng Long Gao Gao Gua in 2003. She is a first-prize winner of the China Opera Essay Competition. Singing in Qigang Chen's symphonic work Die Lian Hua with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Meng performed in Guangzhou, Australia, France, Germany, Belgium and Egypt.

Three young Chinese traditional instrumentalists, NAN WANG, JIA LI and XIN SUN, will perform in Qigang Chen's Iris dvoile on the following dates: Nov 10, 2009 in New York, NY; Nov 11, 2009 in Worcester, MA; Nov 12, 2009 in New Brunswick, NJ; Nov 16, 2009 in Toronto, Canada; Nov 20, 2009 in Santa Barbara, CA; Nov 22, 2009 in Berkeley, CA; Nov 24, 2009 in Costa Mesa, CA; Nov 25, 2009 in Palm Desert, CA. Both Nan Wang and Jia Li were featured soloist with the National Orchestra of France at the world premiere of this piece.

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