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Send-off Concert

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Send-off Concert

China NCPA Orchestra: 2017 North America Tour Send-off Concert: LÜ Jia, Gautier Capuçon and WU Man

Venue: National Centre for the Performing Arts - Concert Hall
Date: October 18, 2017
Duration: Approximate 120 mins

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of NCPA, NCPA Orchestra will once again act as an ambassador, setting foot on North America and giving a total of six concerts in six US cities.

The 2014 United States and Canada tour, under the leadership of music director LÜ Jia and joined by renowned Chinese soloists Yuja Wang and LÜ Siqing, successfully staged concerts in seven cities. This year, the US tour is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of NCPA as well as to strengthen its international partnerships with peer institutes. From October 28th to November 7th, music director LÜ Jia will lead NCPA Orchestra, together with celebrated soloists Lang Lang, WU Man, Ning Feng, and Gautier Capucon, to give six concerts at Symphony Center in Chicago, Carnegie Hall in New York, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill of North Carolina, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

The highlight of the tour concert programme is CHEN Qigang’s New Work for Orchestra, which is jointly commissioned by NCPA and Carnegie Hall. The world premiere and US premiere are scheduled in October, given in Beijing and New York, respectively. The concert in New York, San Francisco, and Ann Arbor will also open with this work.

The four concertos on the programmes of this tour are from different eras and backgrounds, but they all bear rich Chinese cultural elements. Reflections of a Disappearing Time, CHEN Qigang’s cello concerto composed in the 1990s, has been widely known and frequently performed but never officially staged in the United States. In Philadelphia and Chapel Hill, NCPA Orchestra will join hands with cellist Gautier Capucon to introduce this contemporary work to the US audience. Apart from CHEN’s work, American composer Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Pipa and string ensemble, a work that embodies a perfect fusion of Western and Chinese culture, will be performed in three concerts, in Chicago, San Francisco, and Ann Arbor, respectively. ZHAO Jiping’s Violin Concerto No. 1 is a recent publication and its US premiere will be given in this concert tour. Soloist NING Feng will join the stage to perform this concerto at three concerts, in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Chapel Hill, respectively. The Piano Concerto Yellow River, though composed nearly half a century ago, is a monumental work in contemporary China. In New York, NCPA will join hands with the world-renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang in the world-famous Carnegie Hall to stage this work.

In addition, the US tour concert programme also includes Brahms's Symphony No. 4 and Sibelius's Symphony No. 2. LÜ Jia studied and lived in Germany for a long time; he also served as music director in Sweden and other Nordic countries. Brahms and Sibelius are his favorite composers, whose works have been his focus of study. Under his baton, these two works will be brilliantly presented. Through the medium of music, NCPA will once again present the vibrant culture of contemporary China to the music lovers on the other side of the Pacific.

CHEN Qigang
Itinéraire d'une Illusion (World Premiere)
Jointly Commissioned by NCPA, Carnegie Hall, Philharmonie zuidnederland, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Philharmonie de Paris

CHEN Qigang
Reflet d'un Temps Disparu
 Cellist: Gautier Capucon

Lou Harrison
Concerto for Pipa with String Orchestra
 Pipa Performing Artist: WU Man


Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43
 I. Allegretto
 II. Tempo andante, ma rubato
 III. Vivacissimo
 IV. Finale (Allegro moderato)

Conductor: LÜ Jia
The Chinese conductor LÜ Jia's work has received great acclaim internationally. Born into a musical family in Shanghai, LÜ began studying piano and cello at a very young age. He later studied conducting at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, under the tutelage of esteemed conductor ZHENG Xiaoying. At the age of 24, LÜ entered the University of Arts in Berlin, where he continued his studies under Professor Hans-Martin Rabenstein and Robert Wolf. The following year, he was awarded both the First Prize and Jury’s Prize at the Antonio Pedeotti International Conducting Competition in Trento, Italy, and launched his career as a conductor.

Over the past decades, he has conducted over 2,000 orchestral concerts and opera performances in Europe and America, and became the first Asian conductor to serve as the artistic director of a major Italian opera house, as well as the first Chinese conductor to lead Chicago Symphony. He has worked with important productions at the Bayersiche Staatsoper in Munich, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and La Scala in Milan, as well as opera houses in Lausanne, Turin, Rome, Naples, Verona, Venice, Florence, Frankfurt and Stuggart. He has also worked with many renowned orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Lyon National Orchestra in France, Finnish Radio Symphony, Hamburg Radio Symphony, Bamberg Symphoniker, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and many others across Europe, America and Australia.

LÜ Jia was the first Chinese conductor to record Felix Mendelssohn’s complete orchestral works, and also the only conductor so far who has recorded the complete works by the important Swedish composer Ingvar Lidholm. His interpretations of German Classical Romanticism and French Impressionists have been praised for their “extremely convincing musical interpretation" with "musical precision and perfect baton technique.” Having directed nearly 50 operas in Italy and Germany, homelands of the European opera tradition, he has also been praised by Italian music critics as “a conductor who understands Italian opera even better than the Italians themselves do ”. In 2007, his performance of La Gazza Ladra at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro was voted as European Opera Production of the Year. That same year, in recognition of his important contribution to musical culture in Italy, LÜ Jia was awarded the President’s Prize by President Giorgio Napolitano. In 2012, the Domingo International Vocal Competition invited LÜ Jia to serve on the jury, making him the Competition’s first-ever Chinese jury member.

In 2012, LÜ Jia was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Opera at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing China. Under his musical direction, NCPA's own productions of Lohengrin, The Flying Dutchman, Otello, La Nozze di Figaro, Un Ballo in Maschera, Tosca, and many other works. In the meantime, the China NCPA Orchestra, under LÜ's baton, has fast established itself as one of the leading new ensembles in the orchestral world in China, presenting impressive performances season after season.

In 2017, LÜ Jia has been appointed as Artistic Director of Music of NCPA, Music Director and Chief Conductor of China NCPA Orchestra. Before taking up his current posts in Beijing, LÜ served as Music Director at Verona Opera, Artistic Director at Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife, as well as Chief Conductor at Trieste Opera, Symphony Orchestra of Florence, Lazio Chamber Orchestra of Rome and Norrkopping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. In addition to his NCPA music directorship, he is also currently the Music Director and Principal Conductor of Macao Orchestra.

Source: National Centre for the Performing Arts
Date: 2017-10-12