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July 17, 2021

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Symphony music fills the summer air

FILLED with the dreams of summer and sounds of nature, Shanghai Symphony Hall kicked off the 12th Music in the Summer Air (MISA) festival last weekend.

With the theme of “Growing” this year, the festival will run through July 24 at the symphony hall and Shanghai Urban Music Lawn.

“This is the second MISA after the pandemic. Last year, we insisted the ‘show must go on,’ and this year, we wanted to address post-pandemic recovery with the ‘growing’ theme,” said festival organizer Zhou Ping, also director of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

“It is also a metaphor of our growth in the past 12 years, and we wanted to further explore the relationship between music and city, music and youth, as well as music and future.”

Upcoming highlights include a music theater production “Songs of Nature,” an ode to nature with baroque composer G.F Handel’s “Nine German Arias,” and four new compositions by contemporary Belgian composer Wim Henderickx.

Chinese director Zou Shuang has interpreted the sounds of different eras through the story of a woman’s journey back in time and finding herself alone with a fridge filled with plants.

“The project was initiated in 2018 and 2019, and then delayed by the pandemic. From the beginning, it was an international collaboration with artists from five countries,” Zou explained.

“When we got back to rehearsals again in March, partially virtually since some of us were in different places, our experience with the pandemic certainly brought new aspects to the initial concept of this project about nature.”

In concert with the theme, the music repertoire, opening installation art piece and night market include many “green” works that celebrate nature. Audiences also receive a box of flower seeds with their concert tickets.


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