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March 8, 2011

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Just 1 night: 2 great events

MUSIC lovers will face a difficult choice on March 23 when two distinguished conductors will lead two distinguished orchestras.

Zubin Mehta will conduct the Orchestra Del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino from Florence at the Shanghai Grand Theater. The program will feature three Verdi works - "Overture to Sicilian Vespers," "Overture to Luisa Miller" and "Overture to The Force of Destiny." Mahler's "Symphony No. 1 in D Major (Titan)" will also be performed.

Noted Shanghainese violinist Huang Mengla will join forces with the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

The program will feature Bruch's "Violin Concerto No. 1" and Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No. 5."

Court music

The Staatskapelle Dresden, founded in 1548 as a court ensemble, is one of the world's oldest orchestras, steeped in tradition and acclaimed worldwide.

Distinguished conductors and performers have cooperated with the orchestra. Heinrich Schutz, the director since the mid-18th century, helped form its unique style during his 55-year tenure.

The timbre, transparency and homogeneity of the sound have been maintained over centuries of unbroken tradition.

"The Dresden orchestra has a very high reputation in Europe," says Huang. "They have kept the spirit of precision and they are famous for interpreting all works in a traditional and classical way."

Born in 1980, Huang is one of the most active young violinists today. He won first place in the Paganini International Violin Competition in 2002 and numerous other awards.

He has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, the German National Philharmonic and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

This is the first time he has collaborated with the Dresden orchestra.

Huang says Bruch's violin concerto was selected because it is a beautiful, romantic work easily understood and because Bruch is one of the most significant German composers. It may not be familiar to Chinese music lovers, but Huang says they will appreciate its beauty.

Partnered with Wolkswagen, the Staatskapelle Dresden will travel to Guangzhou after the Shanghai show and wind up their China tour with two concerts in Beijing.

Mehta's music

The Orchestra Del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was founded in 1928 in Florence, Italy and has played an active role in music and opera seasons. With the first Maggio Musicale Fiorentino music festival held in 1933, the orchestra decided to rename itself. The festival is one of the oldest in Europe.

In 1998, under the baton of Zubin Mehta, it performed in Puccini's opera "Turandot" in Beijing.

This will be Mehta's fifth performance in Shanghai. Though audiences are more familiar with his cooperation with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Mehta has also been chief conductor of Orchestra Del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino since 1985.

They cooperated in the concert of the "Three Tenors" in Italy in 1990 and the "Ring of the Nibelungs" in Italy in 1996.

? Staatskapelle Dresden

Date: March 23, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center, 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 180-1,980 yuan

Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055

? Orchestra Del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Date: March 23, 7:30pm

Venue: Lyric Theater of Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People's Ave

Tickets: 180-1,680 yuan

Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055


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