Home / World / Europe

UK concert marks season

By BO LEUNG | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-02-09 18:24

London's Philharmonia Orchestra is, for the first time, collaborating with a renowned Chinese conductor in a Lunar New Year celebration concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

Conductor Yu Long, bass baritone Shenyang and 11-year-old violin prodigy Paloma So and other top-flight musicians will be drawing music from both Western and Chinese cultures.

For Yu, it will be his debut as guest-conductor for the Philharmonia. He is the artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of the Shanghai Symphony.

Maestro Yu also frequently conducts the world's leading orchestras and opera companies, including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jonathan Kuhles, development director of the Philharmonia Orchestra told China Daily: "Yu Long has conducted Chinese New Year concerts in New York in the past four to five years and this concert in London is a very similar format to what they have done successfully in New York and also in Toronto in the past couple of years."

The music line up for the evening include pieces by Chinese, Spanish and Russian composers including-Spring Festival Overture by Li Huanzhi and Alexander Borodin's Polovtsian Dances.

Kuhles said the music was carefully selected with Yu.

"The opening piece is to celebrate the Chinese New Year period and it is a vibrant and flamboyant opening piece and the rest of the first half is a selection of songs that Shenyan, who is also a Cardiff Singer of the World winner, will perform," Kules added.

The KT Wong Foundation is copresenting the concert and it is a significant year for the charitable trust, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Lady Linda Wong Davies, founder and chairman of the foundation, said: "The concert has been in the making for two to three years and we thought it would be a wonderful way to present the Philharmonia orchestra to celebrate our 10-year anniversary."

The charity aims to "bring the best creative talents forward from China to collaborate with artists from all over the world and vice versa".

Martin Cullingford, publisher of the London-based music magazine Gramophone, describes the combined Western and Chinese music for a concert such as this as enriching and a great way to bring audiences and cultures together.

Cullingford said: "People are increasingly listening through streaming services, where I believe the borders between genres and styles of music are far more porous than before. New discoveries, new musical worlds are a mere click away. A program like this concert reflects that possibility, and that appetite for exploration."

The concert takes place today.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours