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French music series - from classical chamber to cafe

THE Sino-French Culture Spring opens today and a series of six concerts features classical and chamber music, guitar, cello and modern compositions. Nie Xin reports

Romantic French music, chamber music and modern works will fill the air from today through June in six concerts in the Shanghai Music Hall. The Music France series is part of the Sino-French Culture Spring.

The six concerts include: William Sheller and the Quartet, Le Poeme Harmonique, Casals-Prades Festival, Thibault Cauvin Guitar Concert, Yann Tiersen Concert and Concert des Laureats du Concours Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud.

Tonight's opening show will be Sheller and the Quartet, including Zhou Ying (violin), Chen Mengying (violin), Zhang Hai (viola) and Wang Beixi (cello). The program of classical and popular music features "A Happy Man," "After Midnight," "Helix Notebook" and "Absurd Machine," among other works.

A fan of the 1960s bands as well as Bach and Beethoven, Sheller is one of France's rare singer-songwriters. He experiments and mixes both classical and popular music, including jazz pop and rock.

Le Poeme Harmonique is a group of soloists who came together in 1998 under the direction of Vincent Dumestre. It performs 17th and early 18th century music in period settings, including candlelight.

The Prades festival celebrates the traditions and spirit of its founder, cellist Pablo Casals. The soloists live together in residence while touring, working together on their concerts and composing. The program includes classical chamber repertoires, with rare and seldom-performed pieces.

Parisian guitarist Thibault Cauvin, 23, travels the world year round. He will perform Scarlatti's "Four Sonatas," Paganini's "Grande Sonate," Dyens' "Night and Day" and Domeniconi's "Koyunbaba."

Composer and musician Yann Tiersen brings his minimalist blend of folk music and pop tunes with a sprinkling of French cafe or street music, and a touch of the avant-garde. He plays guitar, accordion and violin.

Sino-French Culture Spring began in 2006. Last year, 240,000 people attended shows in eight cities. There were three concerts in Shanghai, compared with six this year.

During the festival, local Chinese musicians will perform with artists from France, including erhu (Chinese two-string fiddle) performer Ma Xiaohui and young pianist Song Siheng.

William Sheller & the Quartet

Date: April 22, 7:30pm

Tickets: 80-380 yuan

Le Poeme Harmonique

Date: April 23, 7:30pm

Tickets: 60-300 yuan

Casals-Prades Festival

Date: May 26, 7:30pm

Tickets: 80-200 yuan

Thibault Cauvin Guitar

Date: May 29, 7:30pm

Tickets: 50 yuan, 80 yuan

Yann Tiersen

Date: June 23, 7:30pm

Tickets: 100-480 yuan

Concert des laureats du Concours Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud

Date: June 26, 7:30pm

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

Tel: 6386-2836;


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