THE famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra will play in Shanghai this weekend as part of a world tour celebrating its 125th anniversary.
Conducted by Riccardo Muti, the orchestra will play at Shanghai Oriental Art Center tonight and tomorrow night. The set list includes Prokofiev’s “Classic Symphony,” Hindemith’s “Concert Music for Strings and Brass,” Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and Mahler’s “Symphony No. 1.”
According to Muti, these pieces will play to the orchestra’s strengths in terms of performance and interpretation.
For example, Prokofiev’s “Classic Symphony” is a very demanding piece for strings and woodwinds, while Hindemith’s “Concert Music for Strings and Brass” involves almost every brass instrument.
“In addition, the orchestra will present works from different periods with modern interpretations. It will be a unique experience for Chinese audiences,” said the conductor.
Established by Theodore Thomas in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest orchestras in the United States, along with the New York Philharmonic, The Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Muti was named the orchestra’s 10th music director in 2010. His predecessors include Desire Defaus, Artur Rodzinski, Rafael Kubelik, Fritz Reiner and Georg Solti.
According to Muti, this may be the last Orchestra he works with.
“This is an orchestra with unique features. The members can always understand my musical requests, and have maintained a good performance atmosphere,” says Muti. “I love the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It’s like a marriage. We’re still in the honeymoon phase though we’ve been together for five years.”
The orchestra is know for its wide ranging repertoire, which spans from the Baroque to the contemporary.
It performs about 150 concerts annually and has toured in some 30 countries over its history.
The upcoming performances will mark the orchestra’s third visit to China. Several performers of Chinese origin are expected to accompany the ensemble, including head viola player Zhang Liguo, who has been with the orchestra for 28 years.
“I feel lucky to have cooperated with very talented Chinese musicians within the orchestra. And I’m grateful to Chinese audiences’ enthusiasm for Western classic music,” added Muti.
Date: January 22-23, 7:30pm
Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center
Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong
Tickets: 80-2280 yuan
Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055