Upgraded hi-tech tweaks reinvigorate grand concert hall

Yao Minji
A new season of performances will embrace technology at 91-year-old Shanghai Concert Hall.
Yao Minji

The 91-year-old Shanghai Concert Hall is further embracing technology with a season of new shows starting this fall.

Announced this week, the schedule includes a 3D projection mapping show on its iconic wall, a new multimedia residency concert presented by Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, and an immersive exhibition featuring traditional Chinese musical instruments.

The new residency show, "Traditional Music Rises from the Sea Horizon," is an upgraded multimedia version of the concert. Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, which played the original concert in 2016, has performed it in over 30 cities around the world.

The new version, starting in October, will feature in 100 shows over a year, rather rare for a traditional music concert.

"Many audiences told us they wanted to visit Shanghai and China after our performances, so we are truly excited that the concert is now upgraded and returning as a residency show in the city," said Luo Xiaoci, director of Shanghai Chinese Orchestra.

She added the new version will incorporate the signature designs of the historic building through multimedia and lighting technology. 

Upgraded hi-tech tweaks reinvigorate grand concert hall
Ti Gong

The new residency show "Traditional Music Rises from the Sea Horizon" 

Shanghai Concert Hall is a rare surviving example of a Western classic building designed by Chinese architects in old Shanghai, originally constructed as a cinema in the 1930s.

Its signature interiors include the huge dome, elegantly toned in gold and oceanic blue, classic Corinthian columns and marble staircases, among others.

"China is a great country of poetry, so I hope that every note of the show will be poetic," Luo said, adding that a "clash" between Shanghai-style traditional Chinese music and classic Western architecture will be an intriguing harmony.

Also starting in October is an eight-minute 3D projection mapping show, expected to turn the concert hall into flowing music notes. The digital team behind the show has done a series of lighting shows in the city, including the 4D countdown show on the Bund.

An immersive art exhibition featuring traditional Chinese music instruments will open on the 4th floor of the concert hall on September 21 and run for six months.

"Architecture that has stories to tell, and a city that has warmth. Shanghai Concert Hall will become a new hotspot where visitors, domestic or overseas, can comprehensively experience the city and regional culture," said Fang Liang, the concert hall's general manager.

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