The youth orchestra from Canton in Southern China was founded in 2011 by the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, making it the first Chinese youth orchestra to be initiated by a professional orchestra. Its first concert took place in 2012 at the spectacular Xinghai Concert Hall in the metropolis of Guangzhou with its 11 million inhabitants. In 2013 the orchestra launched its own concert series; ever since, it has given more than 20 concerts for students of all ages. The young musicians enjoy close working relationships not only with the members of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, but also with renowned musicians of the China Philharmonic, the Shanghai Opera House and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Exchange programmes have paired the youth orchestra with the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Macao Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Since 2014, Huan Jing has served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Guangzhou Youth Orchestra. The Resident Conductor of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, she made her debut there in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with soloist Maxim Vengerov. A graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, she furthered her studies in the USA at the University of Cincinnati, where she gathered her first professional experience as a conductor assistant with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Youth Orchestra (2011–2013). In June 2012, Jing participated in the Campos do Jordão International Festival in São Paulo, Brazil, where her performance led to an invitation to serve as Assistant Conductor of the São Paulo State Symphony beginning in February 2013. In opera, she has led performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Puccini’s Turandot and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.
Since winning the gold medal at the International Van Cliburn Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2009, Haochen Zhang has enjoyed a fast-moving international career. Among the highlights of recent years was a concert tour of China with the Munich Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel in 2013 and an engagement as Artist in Residence at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra for the 2013/14 season. In December 2014 Haochen Zhang performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in Beijing under Valery Gergiev’s baton; in February 2015 he made his debut at the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Xian Zhang, performing Tan Dun’s piano concerto Triple Resurrection. At the age of eleven, in the pianist enrolled at the music school in Shenzhen in Southern China; later he studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and subsequently under Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.
The Chinese-Australian cellist is no unknown entity in Berlin: Li-Wei Qin has performed here with the Konzerthaus Orchestra, with the Radio Symphony Orchestra and most recently also with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester. Winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the Naumburg Competition in New York, the cellist has been invited to perform around the world: he has appeared in London and Prague as well as in Sydney and Auckland, Osaka and Hong Kong, at the Rheingau Music Festival and at Lincoln Center in New York. Born in Shanghai in 1976, Li-Wei Qin moved to Australia with his family at the age of 13; later he studied with Ralph Kirshbaum in Manchester and David Takeno in London. The cellist also had spectacular appearances at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012. His discography includes works by Beethoven and Rachmaninov in addition to the cello concerti by Dvořák, Elgar and Walton. Li-Wei Qin plays a Guadagnini cello built in 1780.
Jia Lei is among the most renowned sheng virtuosos in China. Educated at the conservatory in Xi’an and at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, he won the Excellence Award of the National Music Competition in 1995 and was then accepted into the National Chinese Youth Orchestra as a sheng player. After graduating with his performance degree, he worked at the National Opera and at the Theatre of Dance and Drama. Jia Lei has performed with the Chinese Radio Orchestra at the Golden Hall of Vienna’s Musikverein. Since 2001 the sheng player has been a member of the China National Orchestra and since 2004 also of the Macao Chinese Orchestra.
«Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks» Op. 28 (1894)
«Er Huang», Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2009)
«Duo» Concerto for Cello, Sheng and Orchestra (2013, German Premiere)
«The Firebird» Suite No. 2 (1919)
7 pm: Pre-concert Lecture in the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free for ticket holders (admission at 6:45 pm)
Moderation: Cornelia Stank
In cooperation with the Körber Foundation.
China meets Europe: that is true not only for the outward circumstances, but especially for the programme which the youth orchestra from Canton in Southern China performs for its Young Euro Classic debut. The concert’s main part is dedicated to contemporary China. The piano concerto Er Huang by Qigang Chen was given its world premiere by none less than the keyboard star Lang Lang in New York. And the Duo by Zhao Lin features the unusual combination of a solo cello with the sounds of the traditional Chinese wind instrument sheng. These works are framed by two European “classics”: the effervescent and saucy tone poem Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks by Richard Strauss, written when the composer was barely 30, and the brightly colourful suite from Igor Stravinsky’s fairy-tale ballet The Firebird.