Classical music season kicks off in Beijing
Conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy leads an orchestra from Switzerland, the resident chamber orchestra at the Verbier Festival, at a concert to open this year's classical music season at the Beijing Concert Hall, March 29, 2018. [Photo courtesy of the Beijing Concert Hall]
The Beijing Concert Hall has recently launched its classical music season which will run through November.
Their opening performance came from an orchestra from Switzerland along with a young Chinese American pianist George Li.
CRI's Shen Ting has more.
During this year's classical music season, some 20 concerts will be held at the Beijing Concert Hall.
According to Zhou Jiayi (周佳毅), deputy head of the concert hall, at least one fifth of these concerts could see collaborations between Chinese and western musicians.
"The Beijing Concert Hall is not only a stage for international classical music, but will also present to the Chinese fans of classical music as many pleasant surprises as possible. The stage performances which combine both the Chinese and western musicians remain an important highlight of this year's music season. For example, we'll also arrange a joint performance made from pipe organ and small gourd-shaped musical instrument. A German pipe organ player and a Chinese musician will join hands. Actually the two instruments present a quite similar way of making sound."
The opening concert held at the end of March serves as a strong example of the collaboration among musicians from different nations.
An orchestra from Switzerland, which is the resident chamber orchestra at the Verbier Festival and one of the most influential musical events in Europe, performed with American-born Chinese concert artist George Li, who is seen as one of the world's most talented and creative young pianists, as well as young violinist Daniel Lozakovich.
A veteran Hungarian violinist and conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy is the chief conductor.
"I love different cultures, because it's always bringing something new, fresh approach; this kind of things. I'm sure the public will feel it in a second after they first know what excellent, talented people they are. So I like to be with them on stage."
George Li performed pieces by Bach, highlighted by one of his his favorite pieces that he plays at nearly every concert.
"I'm playing Saint-Saens piano concerto. It's such a wonderful piece. There are so many varieties within the piece. The first movement is very dark; it's almost like a fantasy. And it's very much contrast(ing) with the second and third movement. The second movement is just very light. It's almost like Mendelsohn. And you'll have this very bright, champagne kind of sound throughout the entire piece. And the third movement: it's just non-stop, technically hard but also very dramatic and very energetic. It's one of my favorites. It's something I play for a long time. I feel like very childhood emotions but also I feel new things as well."
Other highlights include French harpist Xavier de Maistre performing in April, followed by flute quartet playing Wiener Mozart Konzerte in May.
Zhou Jiayi felt quite delighted to give more details on their 8-month long program schedule.
"We adhere to promoting innovative and up-to-the time music performances. Thus we have a show by Robot-Pianist Teo Tronico, who has recorded a program with Chinese pianist Lang Lang at CCTV. Also, we invited Trevor David Pinnock, an English harpsichordist to give a show closing the season. His show is worth our utmost anticipation."
72-year-old Trevor David Pinnock is due to perform in Beijing in November. It will be his first time performing in the city.
His show kicks off a national concert tour of China. The Beijing Concert Hall's classical music season is due to close on Nov 23.
For CRI, I'm Shen Ting.