German choir sings classics for spring

(shanghaidaily.com)
Updated: 2008-04-11 11:33

The summer classical music festival of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany is famous the world over. But before summer arrives, the festival choir will sing spring concerts in Shanghai, writes Michelle Qiao.

The summer classical music festival of Schleswig-Holstein is famous the world over. But before summer arrives, the festival choir will sing spring concerts in Shanghai

Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany is famed for its scenery and classical music festival every summer. Now the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Choir headed by conductor Rolf Beck is coming to town for two springtime concerts.

The choir will perform with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on April 26 and 27 at the Shanghai Concert Hall.

The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (SHMF) was founded in 1986 by German pianist Justus Frantz and has become one of the largest and most famous classical music festivals in the world, says local music critic Li Yanhuan.

"The festival attracts a rainbow of great musicians every year. It also invites many orchestras from around the world to take part, with NDR-Sinfonieorchester playing a leading role," Li says.

As the founder and artistic director of the Choir Academy of the SHMF, Beck has been choral conductor since 1968. In 1972 he created Vokalensemble Marburg, which soon became a prominent German choir and has won numerous international prizes.

Beck founded the choir of the Bamberger Symphoniker in 1983 and was appointed the director of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (SHMF) in 2002. His repertoire features choral and religious works by Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms.

In Shanghai the choir and symphony will perform Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy," Mozart's "Symphony No. 38 'Prague'," Mendelssohn's "Die Erste Walpurgisnacht" and Schumann's "Spanisches Liederspiel" accompanied by German pianist Ulrike Payer.

Every year the festival features the music of one country, and this year it's Russia. From July 12 to August 31 great Russian choir music will be performed. Guest performers will include Vadim Repin, the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra with Valery Gergiev, and Grigory Sokolov.

In 2010, the year of the World Expo Shanghai, the festival theme will be China.

Date: April 26-27, 7:30pm
Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall, 523 Yan'an Rd E.
Tickets: 80-300 yuan
Tel: 962-288