This week, three symphonic and vocal concerts will be performed at Shenzhen Concert Hall to mark the centennial of the Communist Party of China.
Helmed by Liu Ju, residential conductor of the National Ballet of China, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra (SZSO) will perform the symphonic suite “My Motherland” tomorrow. The concert will feature pianist Helen Sim, bandoneon player Mao Junhao, soprano Zhang Wenqin, the SZSO chorus and the Lily Girls Choir.
Commissioned by SZSO and composed by Chinese musician Zhang Qianyi, the seven-movement suite is a splendid piece infused with ethnic minority music elements and Chinese folk songs. Tibetan, Uygur, Kazak and Yunnan ethnic minority music traditions are merged into this Western-style symphonic work, and familiar melodies from “My Motherland,” a song from the 1956 movie “Battle on Shangganling Mountain” about the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea, can be heard at the climax concluding the piece.
Korean-American pianist Sim studied at the Juilliard School with Russian pianist Oxana Yablonskaya. She has won numerous competitions such as the D’Angelo Young Artists International Competition, the UNISA International Piano Competition of South Africa and the World Music Masters Concours of France. She and her husband Du Ningwu formed the piano duo Du & Sim in 2000 and in 2001, were the top prizewinners and recipients of the Baronessa Titetta Cafici Savarese Award at the IBLA Grand Prize International Piano Competition in Italy.
Mao, a graduate from the Central Music Conservatory in Beijing, won the top prize at the prestigious International Accordion Competition Klingenthal in Germany in 2017.
Zhang, a National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) resident lyric coloratura soprano, has starred in numerous opera productions. A master’s degree graduate from the Xinghai Conservatory, she won the first prize in the Third Paolo Coni Opera and Vocal Competition and the Bruson Special Award in the Renato Bruson International Vocal Competition in 2017. In the same year, she also won the Golden Bell Award in the Bel Canto category, a top music award in China.
Time: 8 p.m., July 20
Tickets: 50-880 yuan
‘Pearl River, Pearl River’
Conducted by Liu Ming, the SZSO will perform the vocal symphony “Pearl River, Pearl River” on Thursday in collaboration with sopranos Cui Zhengrong, Chu Yize and Zhang Zhaoxi, tenors Jia Shuanghui, Zhang Guoliang, Wang Jing and Li Bai, as well as baritones Yang Yang and Feng Guodong.
With lyrics by Fang Qian and scores by Du Ming, the four-movement vocal symphony sings about the history of Guangdong Province and the struggles of people on this land, as well as the hopes and dreams for a better future. Du is known for his Cantonese-flavored musicals, songs and ballet music.
Liu, who graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a master’s degree in conducting and a second master’s in piano performance from the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, is a teacher at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music and conductor of the SZSO. He is praised for his perfect skills, profound music theoretic background and unique take on various works.
Time: 8 p.m., July 22
Tickets: 50-880 yuan
Golden Voice, a mixed chorus with members from senior high students of Hongling Middle School in Shenzhen, will perform a choral concert Saturday. A chorus of amateurs, the group has won numerous awards at national and international competitions.
The program will include fan-favorite Chinese songs such as “I Love You, China” as well as songs in English and other languages. The audience will hear “Friend Like Me” from the Disney movie “Aladdin,” the Pilipino folk song “Rosas Pandan” and “The Water Dance of Lluvia,” a beautiful song composed by Singaporean composer Darius Lim.
Time: 8 p.m., July 24
Tickets: 80-480 yuan
Venue: Shenzhen Concert Hall, Futian District (福田区深圳音乐厅)
Metro: Line 3 or 4 to Children’s Palace Station (少年宫站), Exit D