In "Echoes of Dunhuang" the considerable talents of the Munich Chamber Orchestra and cellist Trey Lee take part in a fascinating programme of contemporary and classical works by European and Asian composers. In this thematic concert the musicians explore the intangible nature of life and what lies beyond from Eastern and Western cultural perspectives.
"Echoes of Dunhuang" is one of the programmes of the New Vision Arts Festival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be staged on October 26 at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.
"Echoes of Dunhuang" leads the audience on a journey of various composers' works that begins with Isang Yun's "Chamber Symphony No. 1", followed by the world premiere of Bright Sheng's cello concerto "The Blazing Mirage", which celebrates Dunhuang's art and culture. This is followed by Witold Lutosławski's renowned "Musique funè
bre" for strings, which examines life's emotional tensions and lastly Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony, during which the musicians leave the stage one by one.
Written by Chinese composer Bright Sheng in the form of a fantasia, "The Blazing Mirage" illustrates Sheng's rare ability to combine and extend his music, drawing together the essence of East-West spirituality and illuminating Dunhuang's art.
Since 2006 the Munich Chamber Orchestra has established an international reputation for its remarkable interpretation of contemporary works under the artistic direction of acclaimed German conductor Alexander Liebreich. The novel approach to thematic concerts adopted by the orchestra has also presented fresh opportunities for classical music to be performed alongside the latest compositions.
Hailed "a miracle" by Gramophone magazine, Trey Lee's concerto debut at Carnegie Hall in New York won him a standing ovation, with the New York Times declaring him to be an "excellent cellist … with enveloping richness and lyrical sensitivity".
Awarded the prestigious "Genius" Grant by the MacArthur Foundation (USA), Bright Sheng was proclaimed as "an innovative composer who merges diverse musical customs in works that transcend conventional aesthetic boundaries".
"Echoes of Dunhuang" will be staged on October 26 at 8pm at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. Tickets priced at $400, $320, $240 and $160 are now available at URBTIX. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and their minders, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Other booking discounts of up to 20 per cent are available.
There will be a talk "Dunhuang: The Secular and the Spiritual" by Lee Mei-yin, Special Researcher at Dunhuang Academy. Presented in Cantonese, it will be held on October 25 at 6pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Administration Building Level 4 AC1. Afterwards, Alexander Liebreich, Trey Lee and Bright Sheng will also give a talk in English entitled "Echoes of Dunhuang – An Exploration of the Human Condition and Its Transfigurations: East-West Musical Perspectives", to be held at the same place on the same day at 7pm. Admission to the two talks is free on a first-come-first-served basis.
Programme brochures and leaflets are available at URBTIX outlets or at the website, www.newvisionfestival.gov.hk.
For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044. For telephone credit card bookings, call 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at www.urbtix.hk.
Ends/Saturday, October 13, 2012
The Munich Chamber Orchestra.
Munich Chamber Orchestra conductor Alexander Liebreich.
Cellist Trey Lee.
Composer Bright Sheng.