The Macao Orchestra 2017-18 Concert Season raises the baton in September featuring a host of local and internationally renowned musicians, maestros and virtuosos. Here are just a few of the highlights of a spectacular all-star season that is not to be missed.
See also: Interview: Macao Orchestra Conductor Lü Jia
Kyung Wha Chung and Macao Orchestra
One of the world’s greatest violinists. Korean born Kyung Wha Chung’s is heralded for her trademark vibrancy, expressiveness and tone. Few violinists have attained her legendary status—her recitals are highly-anticipated events. Since her triumphant return to the stage following a hand injury, the Korean violinist has won standing ovations at some of the world’s most renowned concert halls and released her first full album in 15 years, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, on Warner Classics. To open the new season, Macao Orchestra (OM) partners with the sparkling virtuoso to present a grand concert featuring works by Beethoven and Brahms.
Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op.98
Starry Vienna – New Year Concert
To present a Viennese feast of music from the Strauss family has become an international New Year’s tradition. This year, OM, under the baton of the acclaimed German conductor Johannes Fritzsch, brings to the audience the rich and colourful sound of Vienna. In addition to traditional Viennese New Year music, the orchestra will play opera excerpts by Russian composer Tchaikovsky and German composer Emmerich Kálmán, adding a hint of exoticism to this seasonal rite.
Tchaikovsky: Polonaise from Eugene Onegin
Johann Strauss II: Schwipslied from A night in Venice (Eine Nacht in Venedig)
Johann Strauss II: Emperor Waltz, Op. 437
Johann Strauss II: Polka Schnell Long Live the Magyar! (Eljen a Magyar), Op. 332
And more . . .
The three German and Austrian music giants—Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner—share a similar musical tradition and style. This extraordinary concert presents a trio of works in different forms by the three composers, namely orchestral overture, piano concerto and symphony, in a joint performance by OM’s music director Lü Jia and acclaimed Austrian pianist Stefan Vladar.
Brahms: Overture to Academic Festival, Op. 80
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 19
Bruckner: Symphony in F minor, WAB 99, ”Study Symphony”
Leonard Bernstein’s 100th Anniversary: Lio Kuokman and OM
Within the classical recording industry, the term "crossover" is applied to classical artists' recordings of popular repertoire such as Broadway show tunes and jazz. And, of course, the process works in reverse; a number of popular music artists have successfully incorporated elements of classical music in their work. This concert will feature works by two leading exponents of cross-over—George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein—showcasing the widespread appeal of the music created when classical meets pop. Conductor and pianist Lio Kuokman will lead the orchestra while playing the piano for Gershwin’s masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue.
Bernstein: Three Dance Episodes from On the Town
Bernstein: Fancy Free Suite
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
The Musical Footprint of Dvořák
Dvořák is the beacon of 19th-century nationalistic music, with his brilliant composition skills, as well as his intriguing sensory charms. The composer’s works conflate the German and Austrian symphonic tradition with the magic of Slovak folk music. In this concert, the celebrated Italian cellist and International Tchaikovsky Competition winner Mario Brunello will mark his debut in Macau with Dvořák’s artistically outstanding Cello Concerto, and Symphony No. 8, inspired by the Bohemian folk music that he loved.
Dvořák: Legends, Op. 59, No. 1
Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88
The Nordic Echoes
Cold, rigid and lonesome, the Nordic sound from Finland is one of a kind in the world of music and Sibelius is undoubtedly its most acclaimed representative. Indeed, if not for his unique ethnic compositions aimed at the Finnish people, Finland would not be on the map of European music tradition today. This concert features two of his timeless works: symphonic poem Tapiola and Violin Concerto in D minor. German-born South Korean violinist Clara Jumi Kang, who began making solo appearances with major symphony orchestras and recorded Beethoven’s Triple Concerto by the age of nine, is the Macao Orchestra’s special guest soloist.
Sibelius: Tapiola, Op. 112
Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
Beethoven Symphony No. 9
In the vast western music canon, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, also known as the Choral Symphony, is arguably the only work that receives all the top marks in terms of historical influence, artistic importance and popularity. The work is also the first example of a major composer using the human voice in a purely instrumental symphony. Beethoven, with his groundbreaking final composition, gifted the world with the Ode to Joy—a universally acclaimed work echoing his great ideals of hope, freedom and brotherhood for all humanity. The grandeur of this joyful chorus is a perfect conclusion for the 2017-18 Season.
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, Choral
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