19th Beijing Music Festival Opens to Record Crowds

Long Yu, President and Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival (BMF) Announces 19th Season. Photo: Beijing Music Festival

Long Yu, President and Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival (BMF) Announces 19th Season. Photo: Beijing Music Festival

The Beijing Music Festival (BMF) opened its annual classical music festival last Sunday with a concert by the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Maestro Lü Jia. This marked the first collaboration between BMF and NCPA. The concert, which featured symphonies and choral works by Brahms and Shostakovich, elicited several standing ovations from the sold-out crowd.

Festival to Celebrate “Musical Legacy and Innovation”

After nearly two decades as China’s leading cultural event, the 19th BMF will present 30 shows covering a wide range of music genres such as opera, symphony, ethnic music, crossover, and more. As in previous years, there will be public activities that include children's musical, urban musical, Chinese music concert, as well as music-themed seminars, lectures and dialogues. The festival runs from October 9th to 29th.

Music of Old Masters Performed by New Artists

Highlights of the 19th BMF include the China premiere of Britten’s opera “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on October 15th and 16th (the first production in a 5-year partnership with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence), a 3D-chamber opera “Blank Out” by Dutch composer Michel van der Aa (October 20th and 21st), Mozart’s operatic masterpiece “Don Giovanni” featuring site-specific immersive theatrics and technology (Oct. 12 to 14th), and multimedia performances of Schubert’s song cycle “Die Winterreise” (October 26th to 28th).

Other highlights include the complete Tchaikovsky symphonies conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev (October 26th to 28th), concerts with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (October 10th) featuring French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (October 23rd and 24th), Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and Youth Orchestra (October 22nd), virtuoso organist Cameron Carpenter (October 25th), and a closing concert with the Hong Kong Philharmonic led by Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden (October 29th).

About the Beijing Music Festival

Held over 4 weeks every October, BMF is the most important cultural event in China. The Festival and its Founder and Artistic Director, Maestro Long Yu, pioneer China’s unique musical voice. The festival has presented numerous historical performances such as the China premiere of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 (2002), the Asian premiere of Alban Berg's opera, “Lulu” (2002); Guo Wenjing's operas, “Ye Yan” (2003) and “Wolf Club Village” (2003); and the China premiere of Richard Wagner's complete Ring Cycle (2005). BMF’s co-commission with Opera Boston, “Madame White Snake,” was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize.