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September 2, 2023

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Return of overseas musicians to jazz up concert hall’s new season

AN array of top artists from around the world will be featured in the new season of the Shanghai Concert Hall, starting with the mini-music festival “Bach Project” — where famed violinist Ning Feng will be the artist-in-residence and perform three Bach concerts.

Starting on September 22, the new season will consist of 263 concert outreach programs covering six sections — classical, diversity, traditional Chinese, outreach, special presentation and activities.

“The repertoire of the new season is among the best in recent years, with richer and more diverse content, and especially the return of many overseas artists,” said Fang Jing, general manager of the concert hall.

“Under the theme of ‘Melodious Encounter,’ we hope to better serve as the city’s cultural landmark and a platform for people of different ages, backgrounds and genders to share through music.”

Nearly two-thirds of the program features overseas artists, with an array of classical music stars from home and abroad besides Ning such as violinists Vadim Repin, Daniel Hope, Leonidas Kavakos and Akiko Suwanai; pianists Myung-whun Chung and Chen Sa; cellists Wang Jian and Sheku Kanneh-Mason; and soprano Angela Gheorghiu.

The concert hall will also host a rare full program of the concert version of Handel’s opera “Rodelinda,” by the English Concert under the baton of Harry Bicket, whose first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera was a production of “Rodelinda.”

It is a rare full program of a Baroque opera and the Asian premiere of “Rodelinda.” The performance will feature the original cast of the Baroque orchestra’s 2021 recording of the opera, which was selected as album of the year by many classical music journals.

The new season will also see musicians and chamber ensembles from the world’s best symphony orchestras bring a variety of tunes to Shanghai.

The Vienna Berlin Music Club, with three members from the Vienna Philharmonic, two from the Berlin Philharmonic, an Austrian pianist and a violinist, will bring “Philharmonix” next month, which features an integration of classical, jazz, Klezmer, Latin and pop music.

The Philharmonic String Quintet Berlin will also return in October, after five years, performing masterpieces from Beethoven and Paganini.

The new season’s recitals feature winners from four top international violin competitions.

Vienna-based violinist Repin became the youngest winner of the violin section of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels at age 18 in 1989, and is a returning guest of the historic concert hall.

Japanese violinist Suwanai was the youngest winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1990, aged 18. She was also awarded second prize in the Paganini Competition in 1988 and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1989. In November, she will perform Complete Violin Sonatas by Brahms.

In May, Greek violinist Kavakos, who held his first China concert at the Shanghai Concert Hall in 2014, will perform at the venue for his third time, playing the sonatas and partitas for solo violin, a set of six works composed by Bach.


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