Dvorak's bohemian nostalgia

Writer: Li Dan  | Editor: Zhang Chanwen  | From: Shenzhen Daily





Shenzhen Grand Theater, Luohu District (深圳大剧院)


Line 1 or 2 to Grand Theater Station (大剧院站), Exit C

Please Note

The most familiar piece by Antonin Dvorak is his “Symphony No. 9 in E Minor,” also known as the “New World Symphony.” Though the piece has obvious influence from African American spirituals and other music styles of the U.S., the music is still characteristically bohemian in its themes.

Following in the steps of Bedřich Smetana, Dvorak developed and extended the Czech nationalist movement in music by impressive works that were as popular as those of great German composers. Inspired by folk music traditions, his delightfully fresh compositions offered a welcome contrast to the heavier fare of his contemporaries and stood out among 19th-century Romantic music.

Shinik Hahm 

Conducted by Shinik Hahm and headlining cellist Lu Xin, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra (SZSO) will perform Dvorak’s “Cello Concerto in B Minor” and “Symphony No. 7 in D Minor” this Friday evening. With both the conductor and the composer having made their name in the U.S. away from their homelands, the interpretation of these time-honored pieces is highly anticipated.

One of the most frequently performed of all cello concerti, Dvorak’s cello concerto is admired for the richness of its orchestral music and for the lyrical writing for the solo instrument.

Lu Xin

Lu, one of the most talented Chinese cellists of our time, is a professor with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He won first place at the 5th National Cello Competition in 2004.

Starting to play the cello at 5, Lu studied with Radu Aldulescu at the International Menuhin Music Academy before studying with Raphael Wallfisch at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), where he graduated with a Soloist Diploma. He has been a sought-after soloist as well as a respected pedagogue.

In the second half of the concert, the SZSO will perform Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 7,” a somber piece admired for its symphonic structure as well as its musical maturity and lyrical beauty. In this dramatic and intensely expressive piece accented with a lyrical bohemian spirit, Dvorak’s command of orchestration and of classical form gives it a warm tenderness that is never smothered by sentimentality.

Hahm, one of the most prominent conductors today, served as the music director and principal conductor of KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) Symphony Orchestra (2010-2012), and before that, of the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO).

In 2014, he founded Symphony S.O.N.G (Symphony Orchestra for the Next Generation) to reach out to young audiences. As a champion of new music, Hahm is noted for his innovative programming and frequent commissions of new works.

A South Korean conductor trained in and having started his career in the United States, he was winner of the Fourth Gregor Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors, the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize from the Eastman School of Music, and the Shepherd Society Award from Rice University. In 1995, he was decorated by the South Korean government with the Arts and Culture Medal.

Time: 8 p.m., May 26

Tickets: 50-480 yuan

Booking: WeChat account “深圳大剧院票务在线”

Venue: Shenzhen Grand Theater, Luohu District (深圳大剧院)

Metro: Line 1 or 2 to Grand Theater Station (大剧院站), Exit C