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July 6, 2024

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Shanghai Symphony Orchestra to celebrate 145th anniversary

THE Shanghai Symphony Orchestra concluded its 2023-24 season with Mahler’s majestic Symphony No. 3 and announced a diverse schedule for the new season.

The 2024-25 season will begin in the first week of September, with a concert on September 6 commemorating the orchestra’s 145th anniversary and the Shanghai Symphony Hall’s 10th anniversary.

That will be followed by two world premieres, 11 concerts led by the orchestra’s music director Yu Long, and a star-studded roster of international soloists and conductors.

German baritone Matthias Goerne will be the artist-in-residence in the new season. Goerne will perform the concluding movement of Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” at the commemorative concert, which will also feature violinist Hilary Hahn and cellist Qin Liwei.

They will perform alongside the orchestra under the baton of Yu and three other veteran conductors, Cao Peng, Chen Xieyang and Hou Runyu. They will recount some of the highlights from the orchestra’s 145-year history through masterworks by Wagner, Mozart, Mahler and Tchaikovsky, as well as iconic works by Chinese composers Ma Sicong and Huang Yijun.

On September 8, Yu will lead the opening concert, featuring three-time Grammy-winner Hahn for Bernstein’s “Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium).”

The final concert, also conducted by Yu, will feature Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major on June 26, 2025.

There will be two world premieres, both of them commissioned by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Huang Yi, erhu (a Chinese two-stringed musical instrument) soloist Lu Yiwen and flutist Feng Tianshi will perform Pulitzer Prize-winning Zhou Long’s “Nine Odes” on November 2.

The second premiere will be “Chinese Kitchen” by Hong Kong composer Elliot Leung, a 28-year-old who has scored for several Chinese films and was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list for the arts in 2022.

A series of commemorative concerts will take place throughout the season, including an all-Italian program to mark the 100th anniversary of Puccini’s death, a repertoire to celebrate Ravel’s 150th birth anniversary and a concert to honor composer Aaron Avshalomov’s 130th birthday, which his grandson David Avshalomov will conduct.

Aaron Avshalomov moved to Shanghai in 1918 and relocated to the United States in 1947. He worked closely with Chinese musicians, arranging Nie Er’s newly composed “March of the Volunteers” for the film “Children of Troubled Times” in 1935. The People’s Republic of China later adopted the song as its national anthem.

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra will perform three pieces by Aaron Avshalomov, including symphonic poem “Hutungs of Peking,” which is one of his works that combine Chinese melodic themes with Western orchestral composition techniques.


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