Leading Chinese orchestra announces 3-day UK tour

By ANGUS McNEICE | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-03-22 18:36

One of China's most prestigious ensembles, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, will tour the United Kingdom for the first time in May, led by Long Yu, a conductor described as "the most powerful figure in China's Western classical music scene".

Leading Chinese orchestra announces 3-day UK tour

Long Yu leads the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra during a concert last year.  

Marking both the GSO's 60th anniversary and 45 years of ambassador-level diplomatic relations between the UK and China, the GSO will open on May 14 at London's Cadogan Hall, home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The next day, it will play at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, and on May 16, it will perform at Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

Richard Hawley, director of artistic programming at Symphony Hall, said: "It's no secret that China has been producing some of the 21st century's most exciting classical musicians for decades, and few Chinese orchestras have as impressive an international reputation as the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, under its music director Long Yu."

The GSO is the only Chinese orchestra to have toured five continents and was one of the first to establish a full domestic concert season. The orchestra's performances at the Xinghai Concert Hall have become a staple of the Guangzhou cultural scene.

Long Yu directs all three of China's leading orchestras-the China Philharmonic, the Shanghai Symphony and the GSO. The New York Times said he is among the most influential Chinese figures in Western classical music.

Yu will lead at the London and Birmingham performances, while the Manchester performance will be under the GSO's resident conductor, Jing Huan.

Donagh Collins, chief executive of tour managers Askonas Holt, said: "In years to come, we will recall the slow, almost imperceptible, rise of the Chinese symphony orchestra. The Chinese government understands the importance of investment in the arts-in this case, in the investment in international touring by one of its leading orchestras."

The GSO will perform Duo, a piece by film composer Zhao Lin originally written for revered Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma. A piece commissioned by the GSO, Ye Xiaogang's Guangdong Music Suite, Benjamin Britten's Four Sea Interludes, and Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird.


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