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Orchestra wows with film classic renditions

By NA LI in TORONTO | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-18 09:37

With a unique selection of Chinese traditional and Western classic favorites, the China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra played to an appreciative audience at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

Especially designed for the North American audiences, Saturday’s concert titled Salute to Masters: New Year Film Music Gala 2017 featured music by the film music legends, including Oscar-winning composers John Williams, Ennio Morricone, James Horner and Hans Zimmer.

Always evolving to include the Chinese genre, the program also featured such top Chinese classics as Wang Liping’s Shao Ling Temple, Lei Zhang Bang's Visitors on the Icy Mountain and Liu Zhi’s My Motherland.

“Beautiful music, great symphony, fabulous movie that I never heard before,” Bruce Pitkin, executive director at Theatre Ontario, who followed the concert at Royal Thomson Hall every year, told China Daily. “The music of Hollywood movies is good, but I am more interested in the Chinese movies, especially the different orchestration in different period film in China.

“Harnessed together, film and live music become a theatrical event. You cannot escape that you are experiencing musicians performing the musical score while you are engaged in the storytelling of the film,” Pitkin said.

A super large LED screen was shipped and constructed on the stage to emphasize the visual effect.

“If I am not mistaken, we have seen only four shows ever using such large LED screens,” he said.

Pitkin said a technician at the venue said: “We’ll ‘listen’ to the movie and ‘watch’ the music. That’s something certainly I look forward to seeing.”

Founded in 1949, as the earliest China national symphony orchestra, the China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra has performed and recorded the music of nearly 2,000 films, TV dramas and documentaries.

Since its first tour abroad in 1992, the orchestra has performed in more than 40 countries on five continents, worked closely with renowned conductors, composers, dancers and performers. In recent years, the orchestra created innovatively a number of audience-favorite, big screen audio-visual film concerts, light shows and other forms of concerts.

Around 1,000 spectators witnessed the live music grandeur.


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