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Chinese National Orchestra blends music with painting in Nov.7-8 concerts


Against the backdrop of the famous Chinese paintings that inspired them, works by seven Chinese contemporary composers will be performed by the Chinese National Orchestra on November 7 and 8 at Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium.

The concert, "Gallery of Chinese Symphonic Music", is a unique blend of two art forms with a rich legacy in China.

The paintings are the work of artists of different schools spanning the Tang, Song, Ming and Qing dynasties. The music takes the form of "symphonic dialogues" with the paintings, composed for orchestra, instrumental soloists and ensemble.

"Each composition will be played against a backdrop of Chinese paintings in an aesthetic ambience created by stage design and lighting," said Orchestra Master Gu Xiayang.

"Two art forms will merge in a concert experience that leads you down the gallery of China's cultural history."

The seven composers represented are Cheng Dazhao, Guo Wenjing, Li Fu, Tan Dun, Tang Jianping, Xu Zhijun and Zhao Jiping.

Xu Zhijun and Zou Xiaolong will conduct.

The programme consists of:

1) A Panorama of Chinese Landscape

"Sun Moon Mountain" for Philharmonic Orchestra

Composer: Guo Wenjing

2) Birds Paying Tribute to the Phoenix

"Birds Paying Tribute to the Phoenix" - A New Arrangement for Suona and Orchestra

Arrangement: Li Fu

Suona Solo: Feng Xiaoquan

3) The Pine

"Listening to the Pines" for Erhu and Orchestra

Arrangement: Li Fu

Erhu Solo: Li Yuanyuan

4) A Mice's Wedding

"A Mice's Wedding" for Philharmonic Orchestra

Composer: Cheng Dazhao

5) The Murals of the Dunhuang Grottoes

"Capriccio on the Ancient Road" for Pipa and Orchestra

Composer: Xu Zhijun

Pipa Solo: Wu Yuxia

6) The Moon at Daybreak over Lugou Bridge

"The Moon at Daybreak over Lugou Bridge" for Philharmonic Orchestra

Composer: Zhao Jiping

Lead Jinghu: Li Fuhua

7) Birds of All Feathers

"The Song of Flight" for Dizi and Orchestra

Composer: Tang Jianping

Dizi Solo: Wang Ciheng

8) The Hukou Waterfall on the Yellow River

"The Northwest Suite" for Philharmonic Orchestra

Composer: Tan Dun

Lead Singer: Niu Jiandang

Established in 1960, the Chinese National Orchestra is known for its rich repertoire of Chinese folk and traditional pieces. It also performs the works of modern Chinese composers, western classical music, and folk and traditional music from other countries. The orchestra has appeared throughout China, and foreign tours have taken it to such top venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York and the Goldener Saal of Vienna.

Gu Xiayang was appointed Orchestra Master of the Chinese National Orchestra in April 2000. Born into a family of musicians, he was trained under the famous violin teacher Zhao Zihua. He has been a Principal and Leader of the Orchestral Ensemble under the Art Troupe of the Air Force Political Department, Director of Music and Dance of the Arts Bureau under the Ministry of Culture, Executive Associate Director of the Central Orchestra (now the China National Symphony Orchestra), and Associate Director of the China National Song and Dance Ensemble. His compositions and arrangements have won the Creativity Award and the Award for Performance in national competitions.

"Gallery of Chinese Symphonic Music" is part of the "Legends of China" Festival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

The concert begins at 8pm on November 7 and 8 (Friday and Saturday). Tickets priced at $220, $160 and $100 are available at all URBTIX outlets.

Half-price tickets are offered to senior citizens, full-time students, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Recipients. For group bookings and packages, discounts of up to 20% apply.

Telephone reservations can be made on 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at

Programme details can be found in the brochures obtainable at URBTIX outlets or at

For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044.

End/Monday, October 13, 2003

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