Kahchun Wong will conduct this year’s New York Philharmonic Lunar New Year Concert
The New York Philharmonic will hold a concert to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival with Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong making his Philharmonic debut, at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on February 6.
The concert has been held annually since 2012, with many prominent Chinese musicians and musical groups participating. U.S. audiences have been attracted by the opportunity to appreciate and understand Chinese music and culture, which has helped enhance mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries.
This year’s program is themed on fire, which symbolizes warmth, light, energy and prosperity in Asian cultures. The program will include the U.S. premiere of Fire Ritual, a violin concerto by Tan Dun, a world-renowned Chinese contemporary classical composer and conductor. Tan has won numerous awards for his works of all-embracing audiovisual elements and Chinese traditional music style.
Fire Ritual is composed in the tradition of the Chinese court ensemble, in which seated musicians perform onstage and standing musicians play offstage. In the concerto, nine wind players stand in the audience while the rest of the orchestra sits onstage. “The Shaman of Fire Ritual is the conductor, simultaneously directing the onstage and offstage musicians. However, the bridge between the two orchestras is the Prophet, represented by the solo violinist,” Tan said. “Fire Ritual unfolds and extends from a single D note… calling for the return of souls and the rebirth of all victims of war so that they may live again and love once more.”
Fire Ritual will be performed by Korean solo violinist Bomsori Kim in her Philharmonic debut. The program will also include Shin Arirang, a recomposed version of the Korean folk song Arirang, and Mozart’s Der Hölle Rache, from The Magic Flute, both performed by Korean soprano So Young Park in her Philharmonic debut; Chinese composer Liu Yuan’s Train Toccata; Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird suite (1919 version); and the concert repertoire Spring Festival Overture by Chinese classical composer Li Huanzhi, whose centennial will be celebrated in 2019.
(Reporting from New York City)
Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo
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