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NCPA sets tone of optimism in upcoming musical calendar

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2020-11-19 08:08
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Music director Lyu Jia (right) works with the orchestra to play Egmont. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

On Nov 12, the China NCPA Orchestra announced its 2020-21 season at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, which features programs presenting music by Ludwig van Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, among others, as well as the world premiere of works by Chinese composers.

The season kicked off with two concerts held at the NCPA on Nov 12 and Nov 14, featuring the orchestra performing Beethoven's epic piece, Incidental Music to Goethe's Egmont, Op 84 under the baton of conductor Lyu Jia.

Beethoven started to write the piece in the autumn of 1809 and, in 1810, it premiered with a sequence of 10 incidental pieces composed for full symphony orchestra, soprano soloists and a male narrator. During the version performed by the orchestra, the musicians were joined by Sun Qiang, an actor of the National Theater of China and soprano Song Yuanming.

"The 2020-21 season marks the 10th season for the China NCPA Orchestra. The original plan was to have an 18-month-long session from this March," says the orchestra's director Ren Xiaolong, adding that they planned to have world-renowned conductors, including Daniel Gatti, Marin Alsop, Chung Myung-whun and Zhang Xian, collaborate with the orchestra during the season. "We have to make changes to the programs due to COVID-19."

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