2023 Shanghai New Year's Concert goes online
The 2023 Shanghai New Year's Concert has been changed to a four-hour-plus online special, featuring the recording of 16 of the best performances by 11 conducting maestros, as well as renowned musicians like Lang Lang and Martha Argerich.
It will start on December 31 at 8pm.
The recent change in China's COVID-19 control policies have affected many aspects of life, including live performances. The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has been making plans on a daily basis since early December.
The all-star repertoire of the planned live concert, including a collaboration with Lang Lang, after eight years, made a splash when the orchestra announced it on Monday.
Despite being turned into an online event, the program is still highly anticipated with one impressive performance from each New Year's concert since it began in 2009-2010, and three other featured moments.
"The annual concert is Shanghai's New Year's greetings to the world, with a cross-cultural dialogue in music beginning the new year." said Yu Long, the orchestra's artistic director.
The concert will open with the marching beats of Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1," under the baton of Yu from the orchestra's season opening in September.
It will be followed by Lang Lang on Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1" from season 2014-2015, when the world's top pianist was artist-in-residence with the orchestra. It was with this piece that Lang Lang, then a 17-year-old stand-in stormed the Ravinia Festival in 1999, bringing audiences to their feet. He left the stage an international star, acclaimed for his unique style.
It will be followed by a sort of family fun with the 2019 performance by Argerich and her daughters for their first performance in Shanghai, under the baton of her ex-husband Charles Dutoit. Tickets for the two concerts were sold out instantly, half a year in advance, and were among the most-sought after tickets in the city that year.
Argerich, then 78 years old, was joined by her two daughters for the presentation of Saint-Saens's "Le Carnaval des Animaux."
The online program will then feature one performance from each New Year's concert since it began at the end of 2009, with many impressive moments that fans want to recapture.
For one, Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck blended Viennese and Chinese traditions through mezzo-soprano Zhu Huiling and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra at the 2018 New Year's Concert, where Strauss' works were featured.
The tradition of the New Year's concert is also a special occasion for musicians of the orchestra, who appreciate opportunities to work with maestros from around the world.
"The New Year's concert is very precious for top conductors," said Huang Beixing, the orchestra's principal cellist. "I'm very proud of our New Year's Concert brand, which has attracted so many maestros to work with us, including some who made their China debut with us."