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July 22, 2019

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Operas feature in Symphony Orchestra’s season

THE Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has just announced its 2019-2020 season program which features 77 performances beginning in September.

These include Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic, Riccardo Chailly and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit, Daniel Harding, Renee Fleming, Joshua Bell, Polish legend Krzysztof Penderecki and the Shanghai debut of Slovak coloratura soprano Edita Gruberoa.

Operas are at the forefront of the new season, as Dutoit stages the concert version of French Romantic composer Hector Berelioz’s “La Damnation de Faust.” SSO’s artistic director Yu Long will conduct George Frideric Handel’s “Semele,” which tells the story of the mother of Dionysus.

Tickets are available on and at the symphony hall.

Designed by Pritzker Prize architect Arata Isozaki, in collaboration with acoustic engineer Yasuhisa Toyota, the music hall, once an indoor swimming pool, is better known as “wonton wrapper” to those in Shanghai, for its curvy rooftop.

In recent years, the symphony orchestra has not only been trying to bring classical music to more people, but exploring cross-overs between different music genres.

It has also collaborated with foreign musicians and orchestras, as well as performing new commissions intended to deliver Chinese cultural and music traditions in the Western classical music narrative.

Some of the highlights include New York Philharmonic under the baton of Jaap van Zweden with a repertoire that includes “The Palace of Nine Perfections” by Chinese American composer Zhou Tian, nominee for 2018 Grammy Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Zhou’s nomination piece “Concerto for Orchestra” will be conducted by SSO’s artistic director Yu Long, as Zhou, a Shanghai native, comes back as artist-in-residence.

The new season also sees six other works by the talented Zhou conducted and performed by musicians from all over the world.

American composer Andy Akiho who has impressed many with his “Ping-pong Concerto” that incorporates two ping-pong players on stage will have his new SSO-commissioned “Kungfu Concerto” performed.

We are looking forward to seeing how he will blend the rhythms this time.


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