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January 15, 2012

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Big-time orchestras coming to town

THE classical music concert season is in full swing.

Both Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra will be in Shanghai.

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from the Netherlands will be conducted by Korean Chung Myung-Whun for two Shanghai shows. The program list for February 16 includes Kodaly's "Dance of Galanta," Mendelssohn's "Violin Concerto in E Minor" and Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra." The program for February 17 will feature Weber's "Overture to Der Freischutz," Shubert's "Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished)" and Brahm's "Symphony No. 2."

Chung began his musical career as a pianist before shifting to conducting. He has conducted several of the world's leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

He says having the ability to persuade others to follow his lead is his main advantage.

"Leadership is about how you persuade others," Chung says. "A conductor should know how to make the orchestra members follow him. Even a genius musician can't be a good conductor without such ability. I have a little bit of this ability."

Chung credits his mother for his leadership skills as she sent three of her children to a private music school in New York with no Korean students at the time.

She told the headmaster that if he accepted her son, he would have a rush of Korean students within 10 years. If not, she would pay twice the amount of tuition. And she won.

"I can persuade others about things that I believe in, want and like, thanks to my mother," Chung says. "Her praise also makes me feel like I should really do well."

Soon after its establishment in 1888, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra developed into a leading orchestra in Europe.

Its international reputation is based on its "velvet" strings, "golden" brass, the exceptional timbre of the woodwinds and its renowned "Republic of Percussion," as the section was named by conductor Bernard Haitink.

The orchestra has made more than 1,000 recordings and is regarded worldwide as one of the most prestigious symphony orchestras.

Meanwhile, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Harding, will present German-Austrian classics such as Beethoven's "Overture Egmont," Brahms' "Violin Concerto" and Schubert's "Symphony in C Major (The Great)" for its March 8 performance.

Both orchestras will give young violin talents a chance to shine.

Janine Jansen will cooperate with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for Mendelssohn's "Violin Concerto in E Minor," which is widely considered as a feminine work.

Christian Tetzlaff, known for his interpretation of the Bach solo sonatas and partitas, will work with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Brahms "Violin Concerto."

? Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Date: February 16-17, 7:30pm

? Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Date: March 8, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center, 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 180-1,880 yuan

Tel: 962-388


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