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Britain gets talent

By Chen Nan | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-03-14 08:10
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Renowned violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen plays French composer Ernest Chausson's Poeme with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra at the Birmingham Symphony Hall in the UK on Monday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra prepares to embark on its first tour of the United Kingdom, Chen Nan reports.

From a small fishing village to a developed coastal city in southern China, Shenzhen in Guangdong province has experienced drastic changes and development since the country's reform and opening-up to the world began in 1978.

By 1982, the city had its own symphony orchestra, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, which has since become one of the leading ensembles of its kind in China.

From March 11 to 22, the orchestra will embark on its first-ever tour of the United Kingdom, playing eight concerts and visiting London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.

About 150 musicians from the orchestra will perform under the baton of conductor Lin Daye, with a program featuring both orchestral pieces like Mahler's Symphony No 1 and well-known film scores, such as that of award-winning composer Tan Dun for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

"We are very excited because we are making history again," says Lin, who has been the principal conductor and music director of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra since 2016. "We will display the versatile sounds of the orchestra to the audiences in the UK with the music we selected. More importantly, we want to show how exciting China's classical music scene is with our musicians, who are young, creative and full of energy."

Cellist Nie Jiapeng performs at the event. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The conductor says that the excerpts from the film score by Tan will feature young cellist Nie Jiapeng, who has frequently performed with the Academy Award-winning composer and conductor.

"The film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and its score are quite popular with audiences around the world. We want to introduce audiences in the UK to this fantasy world of martial arts through Tan's music, which is captivating," says Lin.

Tan is also the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra's honorary principal conductor, and has been performing with the orchestra, including for its concert marking the New Year on Dec 30.

As well as the music, Lin also sees the tour as a cultural exchange, with musicians from the UK joining the orchestra onstage. For example, renowned violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen will participate in the performance of French composer Camille Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and French composer Ernest Chausson's Poeme.

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