Guzheng performer Su Chang performs with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on Friday night. Photo: Courtesy of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
For the upcoming Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra will host a series of concerts for people who choose to spend the holiday in the city to answer the government’s call to minimize high-risk travel during the traditional busy travel season.
At the suggestion of the orchestra’s music director Yu Long, since 2015 “China Meets the World” has become the main theme of the orchestra’s Spring Festival concerts in an effort to boost dialogue between the East and the West.
The first concert on Friday saw the symphony, conductor Peng Jiapeng, guzheng performer Su Chang and the Echo Choir perform various original works by composers Chen Qigang and Tan Dun.
Some special guests were in attendance at the concert: the medical staff, delivery men, fire fighters and community workers who have worked together to keep the city running smoothly and safely amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
The highlight of Friday’s concert was Folk Songs for Orchestra, adapted by Chinese young composer Huang Ruo, who managed to incorporate three Chinese folk songs “Flower Drum Song from Feng Yang,” “Love Song from Kang Ding” and “The Girl from Da Ban City” into a Western symphony.
The remaining concerts will take place at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra’s music hall from the first day to the sixth day of the Chinese New Year (February 12-17, 2021) as well as some performances being staged at the city’s malls.
Additionally, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra will be making previous concert performances available online for netizens to enjoy on social media platforms such as WeChat.
For overseas audiences, the orchestra’s long-term partner, the New York Philharmonic, will release several of their past Chinese New Year concerts as well as performances from both orchestras through the New York Philharmonic’s channel on Youtube and Facebook page starting on February 16.