A night of Schumann to celebrate spring

Writer: Li Dan  | Editor: Lin Lin  | From: Shenzhen Daily


8 p.m., March 12



Shenzhen Concert Hall, Futian District (福田区深圳音乐厅)


Line 3 or 4 to Children’s Palace Station (少年宫站), Exit D

Please Note

Under the baton of Jing Huan, one of the most sought-after women conductors today, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra (SZSO) will perform two pieces by German Romantic composer Robert Schumann and another by Chinese contemporary composer Li Haiying.

The Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. Photos from Shenzhen Concert Hall

Schumann’s “Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54” is a three-movement concerto for piano that the composer wrote for and was premiered by his wife Clara in 1845. Clara was considered as one of the great pianists of the day. Though not much different from previous Classical concertos at first glance, this piece is very appealing because of its elegant contrast, powerful drama, lyrical themes and dreamlike imagination.

Playing the piano solo will be Shenzhen-born young talent Dong Feifei. A winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and a finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013, Dong has built a reputation for her poetic interpretations, charming audiences in China and abroad. She graduated from the Juilliard School, having studied with Professor Yoheved Kaplinsky.

Dong Feifei

Schumann’s “Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 38,” also known as the “Spring Symphony,” premiered in 1841 conducted by his friend Felix Mendelssohn. Also written during the happy time after Schumann married Clara, it is an intensely optimistic work and is the most frequently performed of his four symphonies.

Partly inspired by Adolf Bottger’s poetry, whose verses were popular with composers from Edvard Grieg to Richard Strauss for their springtime imagery, this piece opens with a glorious brass fanfare that broadens into a majestic orchestral theme. There are gentle evening moods in the second movement, sprightly dances in the third, and an imaginative development of varied melodies in the fourth movement, reminiscent of festive celebrations.

The SZSO will also perform an excerpt from Li’s “Symphony No. 1,” also titled “Pearl River.” The composer is best known in China for his movie scores such as “Devils on the Doorstep” (2000), “Hutong Days” (2008) and TV series “Black Ice” (2001).

His “Pearl River” was commissioned by the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra (GSO) to mark the 40th anniversary of China’s special economic zones.

Conductor Jing, principal conductor of the GSO, graduated from Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Professor Xu Xin. She obtained her master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in 2009, where she was awarded a full scholarship to continue her doctoral studies.

Jing Huan

Time: 8 p.m., March 12

Tickets: 50-880 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