London Symphony Orchestra will present a concert under the baton of Simon Rattle at Shenzhen Concert Hall on Sept. 26. Photos courtesy of Shenzhen Concert Hall．
Ruan player Feng Mantian.
Pianists Zhang Haochen.
Pianists Chen Sa.
Conductor Simon Rattle.
Pianist Alexander Malofeev.
Conductor Riccardo Chailly.
Juan Diego Florez
AFTER a monthlong hiatus during which Shenzhen Concert Hall took time to upgrade its facilities, the city’s home to classical music fans has reopened its doors to fans, ushering in a new season.
The first concert, arranged this evening to mark tomorrow’s Mid-Autumn Festival, features ruan player Feng Mantian. A lesser-known Chinese chordophone from ancient times, the ruan resembles a pipa, with a circular body, fretted neck and four strings. Feng is known for his kaleidoscopic repertoire and relentless quest to redefine the boundaries of Chinese and Western instruments. In his hands, the ruan comes alive with blues, jazz and even rock guitar styles.
On Sept. 26, the London Symphony Orchestra, one of the world’s top-10 classical orchestras, will return to Shenzhen Concert Hall and present a concert under the baton of Simon Rattle. Featuring Avery Fisher prizewinner Emanuel Ax, an American classical pianist, the program will include Brahms’ “Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Flat Major” and “Symphony No. 2 in D Major.” Serving as principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic from 2002 to 2018, Rattle is one of the most sought-after conductors today.
Another highly anticipated show is scheduled for Oct. 19, when Riccardo Chailly will debut in South China with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. The orchestra comprises internationally acclaimed principals, chamber musicians, and music teachers, as well as members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra. Featuring young pianist Alexander Malofeev, the program consists of “Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor” by Sergei Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4 in F Minor,” exactly the same as their concert during the Lucerne Festival this past summer.
Also debuting in Shenzhen will be Juan Diego Florez, who will give a solo vocal concert Dec. 5.
Dubbed one of the “three new tenors” together with Jonas Kaufmann and Rolando Villazon, Florez, born in Lima, Peru in 1973, grew up in a family of musicians. Florez’s first international breakthrough and professional debut came in 1996 at the Rossini Festival in the Italian city of Pesaro, Rossini’s birthplace. At 23, he stepped in to take the leading tenor role in “Matilde di Shabran” when Bruce Ford became ill. He made his debut at La Scala in the same year as the Danish Knight in Gluck’s “Armide,” and later in the year he performed with Wexford Festival Opera. From there he began his stellar career. He will sing excerpts from beloved works by Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini and Bizet at the Shenzhen concert.
Piano music fans will then enjoy three solo concerts by veteran Mikhail Pletnev and young talents Zhang Haochen and Chen Sa.
Perhaps less known among local audiences, Pletnev was the Gold Medal and First Prize winner of the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition when he was 21, a prize that earned him early recognition worldwide. Pletnev’s performances and recordings have shown him to be an outstanding interpreter of an extensive repertoire, both as a pianist and a conductor. His recordings have earned numerous prizes, including a 2005 Grammy Award. His critically acclaimed album of Scarlatti’s “Keyboard Sonatas” (Virgin/EMI) received a 1996 Gramophone Award. On Nov. 2, he will perform works by Mozart and Beethoven.
Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medal winner Zhang Haochen received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2017. For the concert Oct. 12, he will bring works by Debussy, Pierre Boulez, Liszt and Schumann.
Chen Sa, also a winner of many international awards, will devote her Nov. 23 concert to works by Chopin, a composer “close to my heart like a friend,” in her own words.
There are also a few chamber music options for fans.
On Oct. 20, pianist Zhao Yinyin will present works by Mozart along with his friends from Staatskapelle Dresden. The program will include Mozart’s “Piano Sonata No. 9 in D Major,” “Clarinet Quintet” and “Piano Concerto No. 9.”
On Dec. 6, Korean-American violinist Sarah Chang will perform a concert with her musician friends, bringing the classical “Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi and “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” by Piazzolla. Born in 1980, the former child prodigy is recognized as one of the world’s best violinists today.
Those interested can check szyyt.com for more details.