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Shanghai to showcase monthlong feast of the arts

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-09 07:01

Shanghai to showcase monthlong feast of the arts

The National Theatre Brno from the Czech Republic will present the opera The Makropulos Case and a contemporary dance piece Black and White at the upcoming China Shanghai International Arts Festival.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The 19th China Shanghai International Arts Festival will begin on Oct 20 at the Shanghai Grand Theater with the commissioned work, The Beginning - Choral Symphony, performed by Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and Shanghai Opera House.

"Every year we choose a Chinese production to open the arts festival and a foreign production to close it," Wang Jun, president of the Center for China Shanghai International Arts Festival, says in Beijing. "This year, we commissioned a new work, which was composed by Gong Tianpeng, who is very young and talented."

The 25-year-old Gong, a Shanghai native, started learning the piano at 5. He entered Shanghai Music Conservatory at age 9 and was enrolled into the Juilliard pre-college division by 10.

He has written many works for piano, chamber ensembles and orchestras.

Now, he is the composer-in-residence for the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra.

"The young composer used the form of a choral symphony, of classic romanticism, to express his interpretation of the passion of the contemporary youth. Because he is from Shanghai, the composer also included music elements from the city," Wang says.

During the monthlong festival, 45 repertoires, including 25 foreign productions, and two cultural events - Guizhou Culture Week and Israel Culture Week - will be presented.

Chinese pianist Li Yundi will perform with the German orchestra Staatskapelle Dresden under the baton of Alan Gilbert, the music director of New York Philharmonic, featuring pieces, including Mozart's Piano Concerto No 23 in A Major and Symphonia Domestica by Richard Strauss.

Finnish pianist Folke Grasbeck will give a recital, performing rarely known works by Sibelius.

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