In 2018, the Year of the Dog will be welcomed with Chinese New Year Concerts in France, Belgium and Germany. Audiences can expect a multifaceted and energetic performance with top soloists, presented by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra.
Founded in 1952, the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra (SHCO) is the first large-scale ensemble committed to perform modern Chinese traditional music. Since its establishment, the SHCO has gained renown for its beauty, tone and excellence in performance across musical styles, and the orchestra has played a key role in the development of Chinese traditional music.
From its metropolitan base, the SHCO has achieved continuous progress in its field and has fostered the careers of numerous outstanding musical talents. The orchestra has won the hearts of its audiences through Chinese traditional music performances ranging from small- and mid-scale chamber music to large-scale orchestral works. The SHCO brings the poetry and timelessness of China’s diverse musical traditions, like Jiangnan “silk and bamboo” music, alive through its ensemble of strings, winds and percussion. The SHCO is also actively engaged in the composition of Chinese traditional music and has contributed a rich repertoire of new pieces to the tradition. Its music has been recognized with awards at the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival and the Shanghai International Festival, bringing the orchestra greater recognition both at home and abroad.
The SHCO has garnered the praise of its audiences spanning all of China and dozens of countries and regions around the world. In 2001, the Year of the Snake, and 2003, the Year of the Goat, the orchestra travelled to Austria and performed The Grand Chinese New Year Concert in the home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wiener Musikverein. The SHCO also played to the delight of American audiences during a twenty-day tour to the US over the 2012 Chinese Spring Festival. The orchestra is a frequent recipient of invitations from heads of state and government officials, and highlights include performances at the 2006 Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, the ASEAN Summit, the 2007 Special Olympic Games, the 2008 and 2010 Shanghai National Day Concerts, and the EXPO 2010 Shanghai Week. Splendid China hailed the SHCO as “the most beautiful Chinese orchestra” at the fourth annual Minority Art Festival of China and honoured them with more than 10 awards, including a gold medal for its repertory.
In its sixty-five years of history, the SHCO has become synonymous with Chinese traditional music and its characteristic instrumentation of bowed strings, plucked strings, winds and percussion. Moreover, the orchestra maintains an established annual performance season and regularly records Chinese traditional music recording with many already under its credits. Its schedule includes numerous free public performances with the goal of popularizing traditional Chinese traditional music.
COMPOSER AND GUZHENG SOLOIST
Luo Xiaoci is the Vice Director of the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra and one of China’s top-class guzheng performers. Both in China and abroad, she has performed several solo-concerts and calligraphy exhibitions, and she has starred in many audio and video recordings. She also had the honour of premiering a big number of guzheng masterpieces.
She has taken part in the APEC Summit, the China-France Culture Year, the opening show of the China-Russia Culture Year, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, the opening ceremony of the China Art Museum, and many other national and international cultural exchanges and activities. She was invited to perform at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées of Paris, L’Opéra de Marseille, Hamburg Rathaus, the Mariinsky Theatre and UNESCO’s Headquarters.
Concerning her work as composer, Luo Xiaoci has devoted herself to research and explain the contemporary significance of the traditional literati music, putting forward the concept of “new literati music”, which mixes together tradition, modernity and personal expressivity. She has composed and premiered many original guzheng pieces, in which one can recognize Asia’s modern aesthetics. Among her most representative pieces are “Moxi – Painting in a Few Strokes”, “Lüdong – To Beat Rythmically”, “Zhangfang – Blossom”, “Jingye Si – Silent Night Feelings”. In 2008, the Shanghai Concert Hall successfully organized a full concert dedicated to Luo Xiaoci’s works.
Luo Xiaoci regularly organizes educational activities. In Europe, Taiwan, Hong Kong and many provinces in Mainland China, she has given lectures on “Chinese Music and Calligraphy” and many other art-related topics.
For his great artistic talent and his determination, in recent years Jin Kai has emerged as one of China’s most promising dizi players. His fine and pure sound and his strong stage presence are Jin Kai’s distinguishing qualities. Jin Kai attended SCOM’s primary and middle school, and Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music’s undergraduate course.
His performing style draws elements from both the old, refined, and elegant Southern School, and the resounding, straightforward, and lively Northern School.
After Jin Kai joined the SCHO, he has successfully performed as soloist on many occasions. Besides, as member of the modern BAO Troupe, he had the chance to record many CDs and to go on several tours, every time receiving a very warm welcome from the local fans.
Hu Chenyun’s sound is pure and beautiful, vivid and smooth, free and easy, his stage presence incredibly strong. He perfectly masters every kind of music work; he enriches each piece with his personal interpretation. He has toured in the United States, France, Italy and more than other 20 countries.
He has taken the role of suona soloist in many important national and international events, such as the Shanghai International Music Festival, the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the China-Africa Cultural Exchange Year, the Taipei Traditional Arts Festival, always receiving very positive critics. With his interpretation of the famous suona concerto “Bainiao Chaofeng – A Hundred Birds Paying Respect to the Phoenix”, he has gained the golden medal at the XIV World Winds Festival, held in The Netherlands. He collaborated with the Orchestre National de France for the staging of the contemporary piece “Shanghai” at the Présences Festival 2008. Two years later, on the occasion of the Shanghai Expo, he performed again “Shanghai” together with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra. Also in 2008, he received the invitation to work together with the famous composer Nicolas Firze, performing the multimedia concerts “Xique – Magpie” during the Paris Autumn Arts Festival, an innovative work that wonderfully combines Chinese and Western cultures.
Chapter One: Natural & Antique
1. Love for the Ancient & Antiquity
2. Flowing Water
Chapter Two: Nature’s Elegance
4. Black Bamboo
– Intermission –
Chapter Three: Ode to Immortal Love
7. Farewell to My Concubine
8. Butterfly Lovers
9. Dream Interrupted
Chapter Four: Universal Harmony
10. Flying Bees
11. Dancing Phoenix
12. The Silk Road
14. My Motherland
If you are born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 or 2018, you will have a very special birthday in the coming year: according to the 12-years-cycle of the Chinese Lunar Calendar you belong to the zodiac of the Dog. In addition, each zodiac animal is associated with one of the five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. That fore, every zodiac associated with an element comes back only once in 60 years. Chinese traditional culture believes that a person’s characteristics are formed by his birth year’s zodiac animal sign in combination with the element.
In 2018 the 16th of February will mark the start of the year of the Earth Dog, a combination that was celebrated last time in 1958. Dogs are said to be loyal and honest, amiable and kind, cautious and prudent. Equipped with a good nature and strong sense of sincerity they are always keen to help others while looking for a quiet life and a good family for themselves. Furthermore, Earth Dogs are said to be communicative, serious, and responsible in work.