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March 18, 2012

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Maazel to work with young Chinese violinist

LORIN Maazel will conduct the UK's Philharmonia Orchestra in Tchaikovsky's "Violin Concerto" on April 3, featuring young Chinese violinist Chen Jiafeng.

Mahler's "Symphony No. 1," considered one of Maazel's masterpieces, will also be performed, but the opening piece for the concert at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center is intended to be a surprise.

The concert with maestro Maazel will be the third of the center's series of four major violin concertos by top orchestras since February.

With Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra presenting Mendelssohn's "Violin Concerto in E Minor" in February, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra bringing Brahms' "Violin Concerto in D Major" in March, the theater was looking for a perfect presentation of Tchaikovsky's "Violin Concerto" and Beethoven's "Violin Concerto."

Maazel and the Philharmonia agreed to perform the Tchaikovsky "Violin Concerto" in April, while the Basil Chamber Orchestra will bring Beethoven's "Violin Concerto" at a later date.

Maazel replaced the original Mozart concerto with Tchaikovsky's work, and agreed to cooperate with a Chinese violinist if appropriate.

"We set criteria for the candidates as young and skillful, with performing experience and good understanding of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, and of course being capable of communicating and cooperating with the conductor and orchestra," says Lin Hongming, general manager of Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

Violinist Chen, 25, graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and is now a graduate student at Julliard.

He has won competitions including the Paganini Prize of the Indianapolis International Violin Competition, the Wieniawski International Violin Competition and the Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition in 2009, when he played the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.

Maazel agreed to cooperate with the young violinist after watching a video of his performance.

Mahler's works are Maazel's specialty and the First Symphony is considered his masterpiece.

According to Maazel, to understand Mahler, one has to abandon all sentimentality because that is not the essence of Mahler.

Maazel, though in his 80s, is still active, conducting his favorite music.

Date: April 3, 7:30pm

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

Tickets: 80-1,280 yuan (US$12.67-202.77)

Tel: 962-388


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