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January 29, 2010

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'Red Chinese Year' concert

BIG names in traditional Chinese music will perform a Lunar New Year concert with the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra on February 6 at the festively decorated Shanghai Concert Hall.

The concert, "Red Chinese Year," will feature noted traditional musicians Luo Xiaoci (guzheng or Chinese zither), Duan Aiai (erhu or two-string fiddle) and Hu Chenyun (suona or high-pitched oboe).

Also on stage will be young male vocalists from the orchestra's BAO group, including Qian Jun, Yao Xinfeng, Yu Bin, Tang Xiaofeng, Zhao Lei and Jin Kai.

"It will be a heavyweight concert, gathering all the big names in Chinese traditional music," says Wang Fujian, noted conductor and music director of the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra.

Six parts

The orchestra will kick off the concert with "Spring Festival Sinfonia."

The second section "Oriental Charm" will feature the orchestral music "Song of Happiness," female vocal performance of "Jasmine Flower" and "Good Days" and a guzheng performance of "Shi Yu Jiangnan" ("South Chinese Poem").

In the next section the BAO group will perform "A Glass of Mellow Wine," "Large Yellow River" and a Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region folk song.

Then come guzheng performances in southern China style, "The Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake" and "Picking Tea Leaves."

Following that suona and percussion players will collaborate with the orchestra in "A Hundred Birds Worshipping the Phoenix" and other pieces.

The final vigorous section features orchestral music, "Good News from Beijing Reaches Border Villages," the erhu composition "My Mother Country-Capriccio" and drum music "Flying Dragon, Leaping Tiger."

Traditional Lunar New Year activities will be held before the concert and during intermission, including paper-cutting and other crafts demonstrating traditional folk arts. This will be the third "Red Chinese Year" concert, which Shanghai aims to make a cultural brand.

"Celebrate Chinese New Year, the most important traditional festival in the country, while listening to folk music is a perfect combination in the concert," says Wang. "This music presents fine Chinese characteristics such as diligence, enthusiasm, creativity and warmth."

The orchestra, established in 1952, is China's first large-scale traditional music troupe in modern times. It is praised for its gentle timbre, distinctive style and expressiveness, and has played an important role in the development of Chinese music. The orchestra includes many renowned musicians and has performed well-received New Year's concerts in 2001 and 2003 at the Musikverein in Vienna.

The Shanghai Chinese Orchestra frequently performs for foreign VIPs and some consider it to be the most beautiful traditional Chinese orchestra.

Date: February 6, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall, 523 Yan'an Rd E.

Tickets: 80-380 yuan


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