St Petersburg Philharmonic concludes China tour in Shanghai
The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra concluded its six-city China tour in Shanghai with a concert featuring a benchmark demonstration of Rachmaninov's classics.
Under the baton of chief conductor Nikolay Alexeev, Russia's oldest symphony orchestra joined with 24-year-old Russian pianist Daniel Kharitonov for "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor," followed by "Symphony No. 2 in E Minor" to mark the 150th anniversary of the Russian composer's birth.
"The two programs are classics for the world audience," said orchestra director Ilyaa Cherkasov. "We are presenting it in a traditional way to fully showcase its charm."
"The inheritance of traditional art calls for youngsters. The orchestra has been collaborating with Kharitonov well. We can tell that he is ardently in love with Rachmaninov's music," Cherkasov said.
Kharitonov emerged as one of the brightest talent of the 15th Tchaikovsky International Competition in 2015 at the age of 16. During his artistic growth, Kharitonov built a connection with Rachmaninov's family and descendants.
"I have received instruction from Rachmaninov's grandson, who helped me to better understand Rachmaninov's composition and the emotions in his work," Kharitonov said.
Kharitonov said he has received a piano and a tie as gifts from his prestigious acquaintance.
"I have brought the tie to China, as I always wear it before playing Rachmaninov's works, which is like a cross-time connection," he said. "Rachmaninov might appear to be unfathomable, but he is actually kind and tender inside."
The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra's last visit to China was in 2016. Orchestra director Cherkasov said he was impressed by the enthusiasm and manners of Chinese audiences.
"The quality of Chinese audience has improved a lot. Through their reactions, we can tell that they can understand us even better," he said.
"I'm happy to see a lot of children who sit quietly in their seats for the concerts. I hope we can still play for them in the future when they grow up.