The Beijing Music Festival (BMF) will culminate this Saturday, October 29, in a closing concert by the Hong Kong Philharmonic under the baton of famed Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden. The soon-to-be Maestro of the New York Philharmonic, van Zweden comes to Beijing as the final of three city appearances in mainland China this week, returning to the country after a highly acclaimed tour in 2014 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. The program will feature a solo performance by Chinese violinist Tianwa Yang, recent winner of the prestigious ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year Award.
A New Commission and a Star Violinist
The eclectic program will open with “Quintessence”, a new worked by Hong Kong composer Fung Lam, commissioned by the Hong Kong Philharmonic with the generous support of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. Next will be Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 in D, K218, featuring virtuoso Tianwa Yang. Closing the evening will be Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 (“Titan”).
The program makes its way around mainland China this week in Shanghai and Tianjin before coming to Beijing.
The closing concert will mark the end of a highly successful three-week music festival with a record turnout and many spectacular firsts, including a 3D mini-opera production and a brand new Don Giovanni featuring state-of-the-art theatrical effects. President and Artistic Director Long Yu said of this bitter-sweet close: “We’ve come a long way and there’s still a long way to go. So I’d like to say thanks to all the people who have supported us for so many years.”
Currently Jaap van Zweden is Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. In that year he was named Musical America's Conductor of the Year.
The HK Philharmonic is recognized as Asia’s premiere classical orchestra, performing over 150 concerts per year. Recent guest artists have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ning Feng, Matthias Goerne, Lang Lang, Yu Long, Yundi Li, the late Lorin Maazel, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yuja Wang.
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.