Culture\Music and Theater

Detroit musicians conclude China visit

By Zhang Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-31 07:17

Detroit musicians conclude China visit

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra presents a new arrangement of the Chinese work Dream of the Red Chamber during its China tour. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra concluded its first tour to China on Saturday, where it presented a new arrangement of Dream of the Red Chamber in five Chinese cities, including Suzhou, Changsha and Shanghai.

This was the premiere of Dream of the Red Chamber: a Caprice for Cello in China. The piece is based on the music by Wang Liping for the TV series A Dream of the Red Mansions in the 1980s.

Chinese cellist Trey Lee worked with Hong Kong-based Chinese composer Alfred Wong to create a new arrangement for the music.

Lee flew to Detroit to rehearse with the DSO before embarking on the tour to China, says Anne Parsons, the president and CEO of DSO.

The arrangement was an unusual choice for DSO, as the orchestra did not know about the piece until it was recommended by the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, a member of the Poly Theater Group, which presented the orchestra's China tour.

Yet, this was not the first time DSO premiered Chinese music.

In 2013, DSO played a concert titled Songs of the Earth, featuring Chinese composer Ye Xiaogang's Twilight of the Himalayas in New York.

"We always try to play something from the country we go to," says Parsons. "We think this is what music does: It brings people together and creates relationships."

An orchestra with 130 years of history, DSO wants to be "open and transparent" and "inviting and welcoming".

To achieve that, the orchestra has opened its live performances through free webcast.

Also, with a $50 fee a year, you can join the DSO family and watch replays, says Parsons.

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