Celebrating 100 years of the birth of a famed composer

Yao Minji
With the 100th birth anniversary of composer Zhu Jian'er, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is holding a chamber concert with the Polaris Quartet and conductor Zhang Jiemin.
Yao Minji

Pianist Lang Lang has quite a few favorite encores, among them is "Days of Emancipation," a piano reduction of a film score, the first major work of Chinese composer Zhu Jian'er (1922-2017).

Zhu, born in the city of Tianjin, moved with his family to Shanghai at a young age. He is often hailed as the most important composer of his generation – the first generation of composers educated while also beginning their careers in the People's Republic of China.

On November 18, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Zhu's birth with a chamber concert by the Polaris Quartet, under the baton of the orchestra's residence conductor Zhang Jiemin.

Born Zhu Rongshi, the composer was heavily influenced by Nie Er (1912-1935), who composed China's national anthem in his youth. So much so that Zhu changed his own name which means carrying out and carrying on the will of Nie Er.

A self-taught pianist at a young age, Zhu began composing in 1940 and was sent to study at the Moscow Conservatory in 1955. He started working at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in 1975, at age 53, and composed "Symphony No. 1" at the age of 64.

He would go on to compose 11 symphonies in the years to follow.

The chamber concert will include both Zhu's most noted and less-known works.

In the 1960s, Zhu was assigned to work on the revolutionary ballet "The White-Haired Girl." He worked with composer Shi Yongkang to rearrange it into a fugato for string quartet. His piece was played for former US President Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972.

Celebrating 100 years of the birth of a famed composer

Performance info:

Date: November 18, 7:15pm

Tickets: 80 yuan

Venue: Concert Hall, Jaguar Shanghai Symphony Hall

Address: 1380 Fuxing Rd M.

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