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Sydney Symphony Orchestra sets sail for China


06-30-2014 00:21 BJT

The resident of the iconic Sydney Opera house, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has wowed Beijing's classical music fans on Friday. Aimed at deepening cultural ties with China, the company has showcased the caliber of Australia's contemporary classical music scene. 

If Sydney Symphony Orchestra is Australia's flagship orchestra, then composer Andrew Schultz can be seen as the spokesman for the country's contemporary classical music. His music has been performed and recorded by leading musicians around the world. Beijing audiences are in for a treat to see the world premiere of his new work.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra sets sail for China

Sydney Symphony Orchestra sets sail for China

Foreboding and enchanting, Andrew Schultz's “Sound Lur and Serpent, Fanfare for Brass and Percussion, Opus 98" sets the tone for the evening's performance. Inspired by old brass instruments that resemble the horns of beasts and the shapes of serpents, the piece was commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for their 2014 China tour, and its gives the Chinese audience a taste of New Australian Music.

Founded in 1932 by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Sydney Symphony has evolved into one of the world's finest orchestras. In 1965 the Symphony conducted its first overseas tour, becoming the first Australian orchestra to perform in both the United Kingdom and in Asia.

This January, David Robertson assumed the role as the orchestra's Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. With an extensive orchestral and operatic repertoire, the American conductor has forged close relationships with major orchestras around the world. On his first visit to China with the company, the maestro was taken aback by the audience's response.

"There was a quality of listening that was just spectacular. And this is very inspiring to us muscians. So we really enjoy coming to China. We've put down some quite deep connections at various conservatories, master classes we've done at various places...this kind of interaction with people deeper than just come in and play a concert and leave." said David Robertson, Chief Conductor, Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra sets sail for China

Sydney Symphony Orchestra sets sail for China

Indeed, the company has tried hard to make the event a true exchange between the two countries, both out of the concert hall and on-stage. 

The orchestra has teamed up with Chinese pianist Zhang Haochen, who gives an introspective and nuanced rendition of Beethoven's popular piano concerto No. 5. Zhang made his debut at the Piano Festival La Roque d'Antheron in the summer of 2012. The 23-year-old is excited to return to the NCPA for the second time this year, and to perform with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

"It's one of those challenging but also at the same time very interesting experience to work with different orchestras, and each time, knowing how to blend with different styles, because each orchestra has a unique sound of itself." said Zhang Haochen Pianist.

And the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's signature style has attracted audiences from near and far.

"I'm visiting Beijing from Wuhan and was very lucky to catch this great concert."

"I've seen a lot of orchestras from around the world and I really wanted to see the Sydney Symphony Orchestra."

The Sydney Symphony orchestra is currently on a seven-city tour of China including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou between June 22nd and July 6th. 

Sydney Symphony Orchestra sets sail for China

Sydney Symphony Orchestra sets sail for China

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