Siqing Lu leads Chinese and Foreign Artists at “Bowstring Feast IV”

NCPA May/01/2024
On the evening of May 1st, “Bowstring Feast IV” was served with a famous piece of classic chamber music by more than ten Chinese and foreign musicians under the leadership of the violinist Siqing Lu, kicking off this year’s NCPA May Festival.


Since its founding in 2018, the “Bowstring Feast” has emerged as a grand event of music that the Beijing audience scrambles to enjoy, since famous artists, lutes and masterpieces make it worth enjoying. This year’s “Bowstring Feast” has upgraded its performer lineup, instrument combination and repertoire scope, as well as foreign artists invited for the first time. Other musical instruments, including the flute and harp, have been adopted as a supplement to the violin family in a bid to offer a richer and more diverse chamber music experience on the basis of conveying the concept of bowstring.


In the first half, the violinist CHEN Xi appeared on stage with LUO Chaowen and SUN Yingdi, winners of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, kicking off the concert with Navarra, composed by Sarasate for two violins. Afterwards, Siqing Lu played Fritz Kreisler’s Liebesfreud and Tambourin Chinois, two bright violin masterpieces, with a lively, bustling atmosphere of joy formed in the gorgeous and exqusite melody. Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor is an extremely popular piece of chamber music, something optimistic and exquisite in which was fully presented by Siqing Lu, Li-Wei Qin and SUN Yingdi, three members of the China Trio. Acting in perfect unison, they demonstrated an elegant passion on stage. Next, the violist SU Zhen performed Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp in F Major by working with Wendy Clark, a flutist from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and MOU Yinuo, a harpist, with a happy and relaxed atmosphere created in the mixed sound of the viola, harp and flute. A string quartet composed of artists from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, including violinists Anne-Marie Johnson and Hillsteen Kenny, violist Christopher Moll and cellist Rachel Tobin, shared the stage with the violinist HUANG Mengla in Vitali’s Chaconne. Their great passion touched the entire audience. Then came the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s interpretation of Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major - I. To the accompaniment of the violin, viola and cello, the flute music became extraordinarily lively and graceful. At the end of the first half, the eight Chinese and Australian artists appeared together in Mendelssohn’s String Octet in E-flat Major - IV, which sounded like a symphonic piece of grandeur and splendour.

In the second half, the Qingxin Ensemble, a new force in China’s chamber music industry, took the stage, showing their vigour and vitality as a young orchestra to the audience at close range. Astor Piazzolla’s Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas was presented first, taking music lovers to the passionate Southern Hemisphere. The violinists LUO Chaowen, HUANG Mengla, CHEN Xi and Siqing Lu showcased their talents one after another, playing “Summer”, “Autumn”, “Winter” and “Spring”, respectively. The powerful staccato and accent visualise the hustle and bustle of “summer”. The jump of musical scales, as well as legato and saltando, seems to describe how difficult it is to bid farewell to “autumn”. The sentimental melody embodies the warmth and romance of “winter”. The melody of “spring” gets intertwined with winter, making it possible to feel the lingering warmth of winter and the joyful vitality unique to spring. The finale of the concert was a mixture of Classic Chinese Pieces rearranged by HU Yao, including Celebration of the Bumper Harvest Year, Spring in Xinjiang, Pastoral Song, Maira, and Singing and Dancing in Joy. The concert reached one climax after another in Chinese-flavoured melodies. The audience applauded wildly and cheered loudly at the end of the concert, so that all the artists returned to the stage and delivered several encores including Vivaldi’s The Four Season - “Summer” - III., Massenet’s Méditation, CHEN Gang and HE Zhanhao’s Butterfly Lovers, Vivaldi’s Four Violin Concertos - I. The Chinese and foreign artists showed their virtuosity on the same stage, sublimating friendship in music through art as a bridge.


After the opening concert held today and tomorrow, more famous artists and orchestras will give their appearance at the NCPA May Festival. On May 3rd, the soprano Sumi Jo and the I Musici will amaze the audience with instrumental and vocal music. On May 4th, the China Trio will present “Beethoven without reservation” by rendering his most prestigious masterpieces including Gassenhauer, The Ghost Sonata, Archduke, etc. In addition, top chamber orchestras, including the Concerto Copenhagen, Wiener Cello Ensemble 5+1, Austro-Hungarian Haydn Philharmonie Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet, Quatuor Vankuijk and Quintessence Saxophone Quintet, will all appear with their “masterpieces”. Meanwhile, the violinist Pinchas Zukerman, sheng artist WU Wei, organist SHEN Fanxiu, Philadelphia Orchestra’s Cello Principal NI Haiye and gifted musician LI Quan will all attend the NCPA May Festival. Besides, NING Feng, a resident artist at the NCPA, will work with the China NCPA Orchestra to give two concerts featuring Mozart to grandly round off the NCPA May Festival. Of course, the presence of China’s top orchestras will add splendour to the NCPA May Festival. The Beijing Chinese Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Chinese Orchestra, Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra and West Side Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra will offer sumptuous feasts of chamber music as well.





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