Shanghai Symphony Orchestra plans exciting new season

The SSO and guest performers will present a series of Western and Chinese works, classic and contemporary.

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is ready to provide a menu of fresh music from September to next June, after it recently announced its new season themed “Organic Classic.”

The season will feature more than 70 performances covering symphony concerts, operas, chamber concerts and crossover performances at the Shanghai Symphony Hall. 

More than 40 of the performances are listed as part of the SSO Season, which are to be staged by the orchestra itself, while the rest covered in SSO Presents as programs organized by the SSO.

German baritone Thomas Bauer, as the resident artist for the season, will participate in four concerts including a recital.

Argentinian classical pianist Martha Argerich, Finnish orchestral conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, Polish virtuoso pianist and conductor Krystian Zimerman, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra are also on the list.

How to keep the season fresh is crucial for both the local orchestra and the audiences, says Yu Long, who has been working as artistic director of SSO for nearly 10 years.

Ti Gong

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yu Long

“We see it important that we carefully balance the needs of the classical music fans and potential new audiences. Quality and fun are both important while we try to expand the programs,” says Yu, “Fortunately we may now enjoy more options, with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra better recognized globally in the past few years.”

Some old friends of SSO such as seven Grammy-winning conductor Leonard Slatkin, pianist Rudolf Buchbinder, violinist Leonidas Kavakos and conductor Jaap van Zweden will team up with the SSO again.

There will also be new visitors for the season. Russian soprano Aida Garifullina will present “Carmina Burana” together with the SSO in October, as a prelude to the 120th anniversary of the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, which just announced its three-year collaboration with the SSO.

Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich will stage her first performance in Shanghai next May with works of Richard Strauss, Liszt, Saint-Saens and Respighi. Belgium conductor Philippe Herreweghe, known for his Baroque music, will collaborate with the SSO for the first time in late May, staging works of Mendelssohn and Schumann.

Ti Gong

George Benjamin’s pioneering opera “Written on Skin” will have its Chinese premiere at Shanghai Symphony Hall on October 23.

Ti Gong

German baritone Thomas Bauer will bring a series of concerts as resident artist of the 2018-19 SSO season.  

Apart from classics from the West, the 2018-19 SSO Season will also present a series of original Chinese works. These include the world premiere of Zhou Long’s “Classic of Mountains and Seas” inspired by ancient Chinese myths, as well as Chen Qigang’s “Un temps disparu” for cello and orchestra created based on a traditional Chinese guqin classic and Zhao Jiping’s symphonic suite “Qiao’s Grand Courtyard” featuring ancient Shanxi business culture.

Polish composer Penderecki’s symphony “Chinese Poem” will be staged to provide a fresh angle of traditional Chinese culture.

“We are doing our best to offer as versatile choices for Shanghai residents as possible to pursue our goal of ‘organic’ music through which classics can naturally be merged with people’s life,” says Zhou Ping, president of the SSO. “We hope whenever audiences visit the Shanghai Symphony Hall, they will enjoy a concert of high quality.”

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