CHINA'S NATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE
PERFORMING ARTS ORCHESTRA MAKES ITS
NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT WITH CHIEF CONDUCTOR
LÜ JIA ON A SEVEN-CITY TOUR
NOVEMBER 2-13, 2014

Landmark North American Tour:
Performances in Chicago, Washington, New York, Philadelphia,
Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal

Programs Include Works by Seminal Chinese Composers:
Zhanhao He and Gang Chen's The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto
and Chen Qigang's Wu Xing (The Five Elements)

Pianists Yuja Wang and Xiaoyu Liu and
Violinist Siqing Lu Are Featured Soloists

Historic Tour Celebrates the 35th Anniversary of
Official Diplomatic Relations Between
United States and People's Republic of China


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New York, NY -- From November 2-13, 2014, China's National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Orchestra, based in Beijing, with Chief Conductor Lü Jia, will make their North American debut on a seven-city tour. Established in 2010, the resident orchestra of the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China has quickly gained a reputation as one of that country's most adventurous and dynamic orchestras. They will perform in Chicago (Symphony Center); Washington, DC (Kennedy Center); New York (Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center); Philadelphia (Verizon Hall); Ottawa (Canada's National Arts Centre); Toronto (The Royal Conservatory of Music's Koerner Hall); and Montreal, Canada (Maison Symphonique). The orchestra will present a diverse set of programs that meld Eastern and Western traditions, including: Chen Qigang's Wu Xing (The Five Elements) Suite for Orchestra, Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major, Dvořák's Symphony No.8, Zhanhao He and Gang Chen's The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.5. Pianists Yuja Wang (November 2, 3, and 7) and Xiaoyu Liu (November 11) as well as violinist Siqing Lu (November 5, 9, and 13) will be the featured soloists throughout the tour.

In addition to the Orchestra's important North American debut, these concerts also mark the 35th anniversary of the official diplomatic relations between The United States and China. This dynamic and important relationship was born shortly following the Philadelphia Orchestra's landmark tour to China in 1973 and has enlivened trade, education and culture between the two countries, allowing for a unique collaboration that has resulted in a cultural exchange that continues to flourish today.


ABOUT THE PROGRAMS

To compliment the three masterworks of the classical cannon by Ravel, Dvořák and Tchaikovsky performed throughout the tour, the Orchestra will also present two works by important Chinese composers.

CHEN Qigang's Wu Xing (The Five Elements) Suite for Orchestra (1999) opens each concert and is an embodiment of Olivier Messiaen's grand idea of "a perfect fusion of Eastern philosophical emotion and Western musical expression." It is a perfect showcase for the players with its intricate orchestral colors and subtle gestures. Commissioned by Radio France, each of the five short movements symbolizes the five elements – water, wood, fire, earth and metal – that are fundamental to traditional Chinese culture. Since its premiere in 2001, The Five Elements has received dozens of performances worldwide.

Zhanhao HE and Gang CHEN's The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto was written in 1958 to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The legend of the Butterfly Lovers is often described as the "Chinese Romeo and Juliet" with a similar story line of doomed love between the two young protagonists. The memorable main theme is based on the traditional Chinese Yueju opera featuring the same story, originally played by the Chinese instrument erhu and, for the concerto, transcribed for the violin. Throughout the work, specific scenes from the fated story are depicted as musical tableaux, and the composers utilized various traditional Chinese instruments in their writing of this piece. Featured on tour is violinist Siqing LU, who is widely considered to be one of the foremost interpreters of this concerto. His four recordings of the work have together sold well over a million copies worldwide.

ABOUT THE ORCHESTRA

The China NCPA Orchestra, resident orchestra at Beijing's landmark National Centre for the Performing Arts, composed of distinguished musicians from around the world, performs more than a dozen operas and a full season of symphonic concerts each year. In February 2012, Lü Jia took on the role of Chief Conductor, succeeding Chen Zuohuang, a founding member of the orchestra and current Laureate Conductor. The NCPA orchestra prides itself on its long-term collaborations with the finest musicians of our day, including Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Valery Gergiev, Myung-Whun Chung, Gunter Herbig, Gilbert Varga, Lang Lang, Vadim Repin, Stephen Kovacevich, Leo Nucci, Yuja Wang and Han-Na Chang. The late maestro Lorin Maazel praised the orchestra for its hard-working excellence and great passion. The orchestra has been acclaimed in numerous NCPA opera productions, including, in 2012, the Chinese premieres of Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer and Lohengrin. The NCPA Orchestra also received widespread international praise when it was invited by Kissingen Summer Musik and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festivals to perform concerts across Germany under the batons of Christoph Eschenbach and Chen Zuohuang, followed by a successful concert at the Sydney Opera House. Last season, the NCPA orchestra commemorated the Wagner, Verdi and Britten year (2013) with several concerts, including The "Ring" Without Words under the baton of Lorin Maazel, the live recording of which was released by Sony Music. Highlights of the orchestra's 2014 season include Verdi's Requiem with Myung-Whun Chung, Mahler's Symphony No.1 with Zubin Meta, and Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony, Four Last Songs and Also Sprach Zarathustra with Antoni Witt, Gunter Herbig and Lü Jia.

ABOUT THE CHIEF CONDUCTOR

Lü Jia is the Chief Conductor of the China's NCPA Orchestra as well as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Macao Orchestra. Lü Jia has conducted countless orchestral concerts and opera performances in Europe and the Americas. He has led many of today's foremost orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell' Academia di Santa Cecilia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Lyon National Orchestra, among others. Also a highly acclaimed opera conductor, Lü has worked with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and La Scala in Milan, as well as in opera houses in Lausanne, Turin, Rome, Naples, Verona, Venice, Florence, Frankfurt and Stuttgart. In 1989, he was awarded both the First Prize and Jury's Prize at the Antonio Pedrotti International Conducting Competition in Trento, Italy. In 2007, the Italian President bestowed the "President's Prize" on Lü for his exceptional contribution to Italian culture. That same year, the production of La gazza ladra that he conducted at the Rossini Opera Festival was voted "Opera Production of the Year" in Europe. Before he returned to China in 2012, he was the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Spain's Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and the Music Director of Italy's Verona Opera House and Arena di Verona Festival.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Born in Paris on 1997, Xiaoyu Liu moved with his family to Montréal at age 6 and began his piano studies the following year. After winning a number of national competitions, Xiaoyu, at the age of 15, won the Grand Prize at the OSM Standard Life Competition (Canada) and the Silver Medal at the Cooper International Piano Competition (USA). He has performed as a soloist in Canada, Europe, Latin America and the United States, and with many orchestras, including The Cleveland Orchestra, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, YOA Orchestra of the Americas, The Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil, and Sinfonia de Lanaudičres. He has performed and collaborated with conductors such as Kent Nagano, Jean-François Rivest, Nathan Brock, Jahja Ling, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Marc David, and Stéphane Laforest.

Hailed by The Strad as "an outstanding talent," Siqing Lu (pronounced See-Ching) was the first Asian violinist to win first prize at the prestigious Paganini International Violin Competition in Italy in 1987. Since then, he has performed to great acclaim in more than thirty countries throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia, at many of the great concert halls of the world including the Musikverein, Hollywood Bowl, Wigmore Hall, Kremlin Palace and Suntory Hall. Over the course of his extraordinary career, he has collaborated with many of the world's leading musicians including Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, Edo de Waart, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lawrence Foster, Jaap van Zweden, Osmo Vänskä, Long Yu, Shao-Jia Lu, and Jian-Wen Bin. He has appeared as featured soloist with many of the world's great orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony, Paris Sinfonietta, Salzburg Chamber Orchestra, Washington Symphony, Toronto Camerata, Vancouver Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. Born in 1969 in Qingdao, Siqing Lu began violin study at four. At the age of eight, he became the youngest student accepted by the Central Conservatory of Music and at eleven was chosen by Yehudi Menuhin to study at his school in London. In 1984 he returned to China for advanced studies at the Conservatory in Beijing, and, five years later, went on to study with Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang at the Juilliard School. His acclaimed recordings can be found on the Philips, Naxos and Marco Polo labels.

Yuja Wang has performed with many of the world's prestigious orchestras, including those of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, in the U.S., and abroad with the Berlin Staatskapelle, China Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Israel Philharmonic, London Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Orquesta Nacional de Espańa, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Santa Cecilia, among others. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Claudio Abbado, Barenboim, Dudamel, Dutoit, Gatti, Gergiev, Maazel, Mehta, Masur, Pappano, Salonen, Temirkanov, and Tilson Thomas. This season Yuja is artist-in-residence with Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra and will also be featured in a two-week residency with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. She performs Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2 with both the Berlin and Munich Philharmonics, and returns to the Concertgebouw to work with Mariss Jansons. In the U.S. she is featured soloist on the London Symphony Orchestra tour with Tilson Thomas. An exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon, Most recently, she recorded the Brahms violin sonatas with Leonidas Kavakos for Decca Records. Yuja received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2010. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.


PRESS INFORMATION

Media contact – North American Tour

   Milina Barry PR
   212.420.0200
   office@milinabarrypr.com

Press links:
   China NCPA Orchestra Tour
   High res photo link


China NCPA Orchestra - 2014 North American Tour

CHICAGO, IL

Sunday, Nov. 2, 3PM
Symphony Center

China NCPA Orchestra
Lü Jia, Chief Conductor
Yuja Wang, piano

 

Program:
CHEN Qigang
Ravel
Dvorák

TICKET INFO



Wu Xing (The Five Elements) Suite for Orchestra
Piano Concerto in G Major
Symphony No. 8

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Monday, Nov. 3, 8PM
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

China NCPA Orchestra
Lü Jia, Chief Conductor
Yuja Wang, piano


Program:
CHEN Qigang
Ravel
Dvorák

TICKET INFO



Wu Xing (The Five Elements) Suite for Orchestra
Piano Concerto in G Major
Symphony No. 8

NEW YORK, NY

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 8PM
Alice Tully Hall
Lincoln Center

China NCPA Orchestra
Lü Jia, Chief Conductor
Siqing Lu, violin

 

Program:
CHEN Qigang
Zhanhao HE, Gang CHEN
Tchaikovsky

TICKET INFO



Wu Xing (The Five Elements) Suite for Orchestra
The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto
Symphony No. 5

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Friday, Nov. 7, 8PM
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Verizon Hall

China NCPA Orchestra
Lü Jia, Chief Conductor
Yuja Wang, piano

 

Program:
CHEN Qigang
Ravel
Tchaikovsky

TICKET INFO



Wu Xing (The Five Elements) Suite for Orchestra
Piano Concerto in G Major
Symphony No. 5

 

OTTAWA, CANADA

Sunday, Nov. 9, 8PM
National Arts Centre,
Southam Hall

China NCPA Orchestra
Lü Jia, Chief Conductor
Siqing Lu, violin


Program:
CHEN Qigang
Zhanhao HE, Gang CHEN
Tchaikovsky

TICKET INFO



Wu Xing (The Five Elements) Suite for Orchestra
The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto
Symphony No. 5

 

TORONTO, CANADA

Tuesday, Nov. 11, 8PM
Koerner Hall
The Royal Conservatory
of Music

China NCPA Orchestra
Lü Jia, Chief Conductor
Xiaoyu Liu, piano

 

Program:
CHEN Qigang
Ravel
Tchaikovsky

TICKET INFO



Wu Xing (The Five Elements) Suite for Orchestra
Piano Concerto in G Major
Symphony No. 5

 

MONTREAL, CANADA

Thursday, Nov. 13, 8PM
Maison Symphonique
Place des Arts

China NCPA Orchestra
Lü Jia, Chief Conductor
Siqing Lu, violin

Program:
CHEN Qigang
Zhanhao HE, Gang CHEN
Dvorák

TICKET INFO


Wu Xing (The Five Elements) Suite for Orchestra
The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto
Symphony No. 8

 


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