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Beijing Symphony Orchestra starts 2012 performing season

02-10-2012 09:11 BJT

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Among all the art troupes in China, Beijing Symphony Orchestra is one of the early birds to kick off a busy 2012. They're planning to perform about 100 concerts this year in China and abroad, and the journey starts right here in Beijing, as the opening concert was held in the National Center of Performing Arts on Wednesday.

The opening concert of Beijing Symphony Orchestra's latest performing season stresses a domestic musical orientation. For the first part of the concert, Chinese tradition prevailed. Premiered in 2010, "Taigu Yangge Suite" showcases traditional Yangge dance in orchestration. The strong influence of Grieg and Bartok, who were both inspired by the folk tunes of their home countries, is felt in composer Wang Xilin's work with its hint of songs from Shanxi. Meanwhile, orchestral suite "Yunnan Capriccio" is heavily influenced by ethnic music styles of Yunnan Province.

Igor Stravinsky's masterpiece "The Rite of Spring" was also performed on the night. It's a piece often thought to have an extremely difficult score and becomes somewhat of a test of an orchestra's mettle. Compared to the ethnic soundscape created by Chinese composers throughout the first half of the performance, the primitive rhythms and dissonant harmonic structure of the Russian piece introduced a completely different scenario for the attending audience.

Tan Lihua, director and conductor of Beijing Symphony

Tan Lihua, director and conductor of Beijing Symphony Orchestra, said, "The two Chinese pieces represent our ambition and obligation to promote the national treasure, which is the identity of China in the classical music scene; on the other hand, "the Rite of Spring" is commonly known as the world's biggest challenge for orchestras, we will prove our capability by performing this composition."

And there's more to expect. The blueprint for BSO's performing season also foresees a string of international maestros to collaborate with, from well-established artists Christoph Eschenbach, Vadim Repin to promising youngster Jean-yves Thibaudet and Michael Barrenboim. A total number of 100 concerts throughout the year means tight schedules and frequent flights for orchestra members, but music director Tan Lihua is quite confident.

Tan Lihua said, "The whole year's performing schedule is already confirmed. Dates, venues, repertoire, especially the contracts of collaborating guest artists. We'll fly to the UK in July to join the celebration as part of the Beijing-Week at the London Olympic Games, and the rest of the European tour will continue through September. Performing in the home countries of the world's greatest composers certainly put us under pressure, but it's also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve."

For local music lovers in Beijing, there are also plenty of chances to catch up with BSO at the NCPA, Forbidden City Concert Hall and Beijing Concert Hall. Besides all-time symphonic classics and works from Chinese and Occidental masters, educational sessions are prepared for fresh ears of classical music, and a special concert featuring 3D visual arts will soon meet with audiences.


Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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