Shanghai Concert Hall promises 'surprises' in its new season
A fusion of classic tunes and futuristic electro music was played out on a multimedia stage set up at the nearly century-old Shanghai Concert Hall this week.
"We have many surprises in store for 2023!" said Fang Liang, general manager of the performance hall, while presenting the planned events between January and July.
"We have also been in discussions with top overseas musicians, and we hope to invite them as soon as possible."
In the next seven months, 288 performances and events are scheduled.
Among them will be cross-border collaborations, maestros and rising Gen Z stars, a new dance theater produced by the concert hall, the return of the residency shows, and the opening of new spaces.
In May, an experimental production titled "The Bird Wings Runner" will premiere at the concert hall. It is the theater's fourth production that aims to promote new artists.
The show's director, Liu Xiaoyi, called it "beautiful, passionate, sad and lonely." He also said that it shows the variety of people's dreams as the main character travels through time into well-known myths and folk tales from ancient China.
Liu said, "We have created an experimental stage that has never been seen before by combining poetry, film, installation, physical theater, and many other art forms."
A variety of up-and-coming musicians will perform in April.
A 23-year-old emerging talent, Jin Yukuang is the conductor and co-founder of the Neo-Classical Chamber Orchestra, whose members are roughly the same age. Jin and the orchestra impressed many in 2021, when the typical 20-year-olds performed a concert in which every piece was a China premiere. This was evidence of the young players' wide music appreciation and self-expression, as they chose pieces they enjoyed that had never been performed in China.
This time, Jin will collaborate with his teacher Zhao Xiao'ou and Italian timpanist and conductor Enrico Calini to perform lesser-known compositions by Georg Philipp Telemann, Henry Purcell, and early works of Mozart.
Two talented pianists, Rao Hao, 19, and An Tianxu, 24, will also perform at the concert hall. Rao's performance of Chopin's "First Piano Concerto" in the finals of the 18th Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw wowed the audience. An walked away with the fourth prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2019.
In March, four concerts spanning multiple genres will explore a variety of immersive musical experiences. Huang Jianyi, a jazz pianist, will perform a multimedia performance titled "Ocean" that will feature a spontaneous conversation between the piano notes and multimedia, as if the player were conversing with nature.
Huang Ye intends to transport the audience on a journey through a "superlink to historical time and place" with a chamber music performance centered on the greatest spontaneous musicians and their influences.
The concert hall is also collaborating with Technoetic Arts Studio to create a new musical experience by combining music and interactive installations.
On the second story, where a 3D model of the building and historical artifacts are kept, new multimedia interactive installations are also expected to be launched.
It is the latest addition to explore new ways to enjoy the structure, which was initially designed as a movie theater in 1930. In the last five years, spaces for exhibitions, immersive theater, and arts education, among others, have opened.
"We anticipate creating additional locations for musicians to explore!" Fang said, suggesting the possibility of opening the building's rooftop and more plans for outdoor events.