Culture\Music and Theater

Festive flair

By Chen Jie | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-26 07:36

Festive flair

The concerts also feature performances of the Peking Opera The Imperial Concubine, presented by Zhang Xinyue.[Photo by Liu Ming/China Daily]

The second piece, Oboe Concerto, will feature Wang Liang, principal oboe of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

The 36-year-old Chinese oboe player began to learn the instrument at age 7 and enrolled in the middle school of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Then he went to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he got his bachelor's degree in 2003.

Before joining the New York Philharmonic in 2006 as the principal oboe player, he played the instrument for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

The Imperial Concubine will feature Peking Opera actress Zhang Xinyue. The original aria by the same name was a hallmark piece by the late maestro Mei Lanfang, whose singing and performing style became one of the most important schools of the ancient Chinese art form.

Zhang, 36, began to study from Mei's son, Mei Baojiu, in 1997 and has been one of the leading actresses of the Mei school.

The piece combining the Peking Opera aria and a Western classical orchestral composition will add to the festival air of the Chinese New Year.

The second half of the concert in the US will feature Gustav Mahler's Song of the Earth. Mahler composed the symphony between 1908 and 1909 after reading German translations of Tang Dynasty (618-907) poems. Mahler was fascinated by the natural beauty of Chinese poetry and he picked seven to set to music.

"Mahler created the work to express his admiration of China's earthly beauty. For this version in the upcoming concerts, we have added some traditional Chinese instruments to lead each movement. I hope to give the Western audience a rich Chinese flavor," says Tang.

In Canada, the orchestra will start the concerts with the national anthems of Canada and China, followed by the Chinese folk song Beijing Tidings.

Chinese violinist Ning Feng will play Brahms' Violin Concerto in D major. The orchestra will also play Petrovich Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

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