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Shanghai Symphony Orchestra wows audience with debut in Edinburgh International Festival

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-08-20 10:44
This year marks the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO).[Photo/Official website of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra]

The 140-year-old Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) wowed spectators on Monday night with a stunning concert marking the debut of a Chinese orchestra in the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), the world's leading performing art event.

The concert featured both Chinese and Western music works, including the opening piece by leading Chinese composer Chen Qigang's "Wu Xing" (The Five Elements) and Dmitry Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 5 in D minor." Renowned American cellist Alisa Weilerstein collaborated with the group by preforming Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B minor.

The concert ended with the "Beautiful Night," a piece of traditional Chinese music, winning rounds of applause and cheers by more than 2,000 spectators who packed the famous Usher Hall.

"The performance is intriguing and fantastic," said British audience Rosalind Stoddart from Northamptonshire, adding that she was very impressed by the opening piece "Wuxing."

"The music is very Chinese, which I haven't heard before ... It was beautifully played, very exciting and experimenting," she said.

This year marks the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO). During the past decades, while performing classical western music, the orchestra has made great efforts to create Chinese music works to showcase the profound Chinese culture to a global audience.

Music director Yu Long said that especially over the 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Shanghai orchestra has developed a quality deserving respect from its peers and audience worldwide.

"The orchestra is a good window through which global audience can get to know about Chinese culture," he told Xinhua.

The Edinburgh International Festival, which was created in 1947, has presented breathtaking performances from some of the best musicians and artists that the world has had to offer. The festival this year kicked off on Aug. 2 and will last until Aug. 26.

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra will continue its performance in London next week. It is on a three-week anniversary-celebrating global tour.

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