On April 4th, the China NCPA Orchestra announced its plan for the 2021 National Tour. From April 10th to 17th, the orchestra, led by music director LÜ Jia and in collaboration with violinist Siqing Lu and singers SONG Yuanming and WANG Chong, will give performances in six cities, namely Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Changsha, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. At the press conference, the orchestra also gave further details of the second half of its 2020/21 season, and the release of its latest recording of Beethoven’s Egmont as well.
China NCPA Orchestra had its press conference for 2021 National Tour on April 6th.
In the upcoming tour, the NCPAO will present the masterpieces of Bruckner and Brahms and showcase its excellence in the field of opera with Verdi’s works. The orchestra will also present works of ZHAO Jiping and Julian Yu to demonstrate its fruitful achievements in the commissioning of Chinese works. This is also the NCPAO’s first national tour.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCPAO continues to make music feel alive by presenting many online concerts, each with tens of millions of views. Due to such high demand, the orchestra decided to launch its first national tour since its establishment.
NCPAO will give performances in six cities in China.
The six concerts are all hosted by leading arts organizations in the cities as part of their performance seasons. For the tour, Music Director LÜ Jia and the orchestra have picked two German and Austrian classics, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6 in A Major and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 in F major.
"The two singers appearing on this tour are quite outstanding," said LÜ Jia.
2021 marks the 120th anniversary of Verdi’s death. Thus, the orchestra will also present a collection of Verdi’s operas on the tour. “With excerpts from Nabucco, Il Trovatore and La Traviata, I believe we will give a top-notch and quintessential interpretation of Verdi’s operas,” LÜ Jia said, “The two singers appearing on this tour are quite outstanding. SONG Yuanming has lived and worked in Vienna for many years, having excellent singing skills in German and Italian. WANG Chong has been active on the opera stage for many years as an NCPA Resident singer. He is extremely experienced. Through our interpretation, we believe that the audience will be amazed by the charm of NCPA opera.”
Violinist Siqing Lu will also join the orchestra.
In recent years, the orchestra has commissioned new works. On the national tour, the orchestra will present two of them. ZHAO Jiping’s Violin Concerto No. 1 has been the most frequently performed new Chinese concerto in recent years. Violinist Siqing Lu commented on the work, “ZHAO Jiping’s Violin Concerto No. 1 is one of my favourite new Chinese works in recent years. I am certainly looking forward to sharing it with a wider audience!” Evolution, composed by Julian Yu for the NCPAO’s 10th anniversary, is one of the most important commissioned works in the orchestra’s history. After its world premiere at the NCPA last year, the piece will also make its debut in other cities through the tour.
The NCPAO also unveils more details of the second half of its 2020/21 season, “Evolution”.
With the launch of the 2021 National Tour, the NCPAO is also unveiling more details of the second half of its 2020/21 season, “Evolution”, which is full of exciting surprises. From April to mid-August, they will present 36 exceptional concerts in close collaboration with dozens of China’s leading musicians, continuing to showcase the power of Chinese music.
In the second half of the 2020/21 season, conductors such as LÜ Jia, LI Xincao, CHEN Lin, LIN Daye, HONG Yiquan and JIAO Yang will take the baton one after another; new-generation conductors such as QIAN Junping, ZHANG Lu, LAI Jiajing and SUN Yifan will also appear on the stage. In addition to the return of soloists such as Siqing LÜ, NING Feng, CHEN Sa, SUN Yingdi, ZHANG Haochen, SONG Yuanming, WANG Yunpeng, LIU Mingjia, ZENG Yun, AN Tianxu and XU Xuanhan, LI Weigang, HAN Xiaoguang and LUO Wei will have their first collaboration with the NCPAO. The “Beethoven250” and “Mahlermania” will continue to span the entire season; the orchestra’s mini chamber music week with the Tianjin Juilliard School and online concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and others will also be intriguing.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, the NCPAO has planned a series of concerts featuring contemporary Chinese works. In “Poems of Motherland”, LIU Dunnan’s Piano Concerto Mountain Forest, The Yellow River by YIN Chengzong and CHU Wanghua, CHEN Peixun’s symphonic poem Tide of Emotions and MA Sicong’s Symphony No.2 will reflect the magnificent beauty of China and the composers’ deep affection for it. In “Poems of Heroes”, the orchestra will present two violin concertos, The Butterfly Lovers by HE Zhanhao and CHEN Gang and LIU Sanjie by LUO Xinmin, and CHEN Peixun’s symphony My Motherland ; it will also premiere YU Jingjun’s latest adaptation of Ode to Heroes. In “Legendary Soundtracks”, the orchestra will present original scores for film and TV by YE Xiaogang, TAN Dun, CHEN Qigang and ZHAO Jiping, and will participate in the 2020-2021 NCPA Young Composer Programme as before. As the composer-in-focus of this year, ZHAO Jiping’s Violin Concerto No.1, Moments Musicaux of the Silk Road and Qiao’s Grand Courtyard will also be staged in the second half of the season.
The album Beethoven: Egmont is released.
With the whole world celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the NCPAO brought the full Chinese version of Egmont to the stage in Beijing for the first time in November last year. The work was translated and adapted by Ms. LI Jianming based on Beethoven’s score for Goethe’s play of the same name. Subsequently, it was recorded by NCPA Records with LÜ Jia conducting the orchestra, accomplished actor SUN Qiang as the narrator and soprano SONG Yuanming as the soloist. On April 6, taking advantage of the launch of the second half of the 2020/21 season and the 2021 National tour, the album Beethoven: Egmont was released. This is the first recording of the masterpiece in China, and Beethoven’s three overtures on heroic themes are also included in the album.
Photos by GAN Yuan