City welcomes the new year with classical music festival

Writer: Debra Li  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-12-12

What's better in the cold winter than welcoming the new year with heart-warming music?

A ceremony was held Friday afternoon to officially launch the first Shenzhen Bay Classical Music Festival, which will present seven concerts by five top Chinese orchestras at Shenzhen Poly Theater between Dec. 30 and Jan. 7, 2023.

A poster of the first Shenzhen Bay Classical Music Festival. File photo

Opening the festival will be China National Traditional Orchestra conducted by Liu Sha on Dec. 30. The program will include beloved pieces such as “The Silk Road,” “Guangdong Music Medley,” “Horse Racing” and “Chu-Han Contention,” and give full play to the charms of Chinese instruments such as the erhu, pipa, zheng and bamboo flute.

Another program, titled “Treasured Chinese Music,” will have its local premiere the following evening.

The audience members will also hear China National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Li Xincao, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra (SZSO) conducted by Lin Daye, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jing Huan and China Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yu Long in the succeeding concerts.

Nie Bing, president of SZSO, said after the ceremony that he feels honored to have his orchestra participate in the event. “It’s an innovation to include traditional Chinese orchestras and music pieces in a classical music festival,” he said. “It’s appropriate to pay tribute to our own great musical traditions as a young generation of music fans have awakened to our national identity and are feeling proud of Chinese culture.”

Nie added that apart from beloved Western musical pieces like Fučík’s “Florentine March” and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” his orchestra has also prepared a few Chinese pieces for the concert.

Fu Junlin, general manager of Shenzhen Poly Theater and organizer of the event, said this December marks the theater’s 15th anniversary. “The theater had invited China Philharmonic Orchestra to perform during its opening season,” he said, adding that although the Poly has focused more on drama and dance during its past project selections, classical music is an indispensable part of their future plans.

“Hopefully, with the pandemic waning, we will invite orchestras from other parts of the world to perform on our stage in the future,” he said.

Fang Ting, a music fan living in Nanshan District, has already booked four out of the seven concerts. “Over a dozen of the shows I booked this year were canceled due to the pandemic,” she said. “I’m giving myself a big treat with this event coming to my neighborhood.”