NEW YORK (Jan. 5, 2012) — The New York Philharmonic will present its first-ever Gala concert in celebration of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon, which will feature Chinese and western orchestral music on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. in Avery Fisher Hall.
The concert will be broadcast live on WQXR 105.9 FM and www.wqxr.org, and later that week on China’s Phoenix Television. Performers will include Long Yu — artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic, music director of the Shanghai and Guanzhou Symphony Orchestras, and artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival — making his Philharmonic debut.
Scheduled performists include pianist Lang Lang, who will play Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1; Philharmonic Principal Oboe Liang Wang, who will perform Chen Qigang’s Extase for oboe and orchestra, and bamboo flutist Tang Jun Qiao. In addition, the Quintessenso Mongolian Children’s Choir, in its first ever appearance outside of China, will sing and dance in traditional Mongolian dress.
A special Dragon Dance will take place in and around Avery Fisher Hall throughout the evening. Arranged by Nai-Ni Chen in collaboration with Sifu Henry Lee for the occasion, it will be performed by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and members of its youth program, accompanied by live percussion music by Mr. Lee. Visitors to Lincoln Center will also be able to view the “Chinese in America — We Are Family”— a video exhibit that was shown in Shanghai at EXPO 2010 displaying more than 10,000 photos of people of Chinese descent across America — positioned above a 115-foot-long dragon banner.
• On Monday, January 23, at 6:00 p.m., WQXR will present a special preview of the Philharmonic’s Gala concert as part of its China in New York festival at the The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street. The live event will feature performances by pianist Lang Lang and the Quintessenso Mongolian Children’s Choir in traditional songs and Chinese New Year favorites.
The program will be broadcast live on 105.9 FM and streamed as a live video Webcast at www.wqxr.org. WQXR’s David Garland will be the host. Tickets are $30, available at www.thegreenespace.org.
• National and International Radio Broadcast: This concert will be broadcast at a future date on The New York Philharmonic. This Week, a radio concert series syndicated weekly to more than 300 stations nationally, and to 122 outlets internationally, by the WFMT Radio Network.
The 52-week series, hosted by actor Alec Baldwin, is generously underwritten by The Kaplen Foundation, the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Philharmonic’s corporate partner, MetLife Foundation. The broadcast will be available on the Philharmonic’s Website, nyphil.org. The program is broadcast locally in the New York metropolitan area on 105.9 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. Check local listings for broadcast and program information.
The black-tie or traditional Chinese-attire event will include a pre-concert reception from 6 to 7 p.m., the concert, and a dinner immediately following the concert. Honorary Gala Chairmen are Mr. and Mrs. Maurice R. Greenberg, The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger and Mrs. Kissinger, H.E. Ambassador LI Baodong and Madam LU Hailin. The Gala Co-Chairmen are Angela Chen, Anla Cheng, Lady Linda Wong Davies, The Honorable Frank N. Newman and Mrs. Newman, Gary W. Parr, Argie Tang, Oscar L. Tang, Ansso Wang, and Shirley Young.
Artists will include Long Yu, current artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, music director of the Shanghai and Guanzhou Symphony Orchestras, and artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival. In addition to their regular season concerts, all three ensembles tour regularly in China and abroad under the direction of Long Yu. He appeared with many leading European, American, and Asian orchestras and opera companies, including the Orchestre de Paris, Hamburg Staatsoper, Florence’s Maggio Musicale Festival, Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, and the Chicago Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, and Singapore Symphony orchestras. In the coming season he will make his debuts with the Munich Philharmonic, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
In the summer of 2010 Long Yu led the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on the Great Lawn of Central Park, featuring Lang Lang as one of the soloists, appearing on the same concert as the New York Philharmonic in celebration of that year’s World Expo in China.
Later that year he brought cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinists Midori and Sarah Chang, and others to Guangzhou for the premiere Canton Asian Music Festival in connection with the XVI Asian Games.
Long Yu was born into a family of musicians in 1964 in Shanghai. He received his early musical education from his grandfather, Ding Shande, and went on to study at the Shanghai Conservatory and the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin. His career has included both artistic and administrative appointments.
In 1992 he was named principal conductor of the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing, and was involved in the planning of the first Beijing New Year’s Concert, serving as its conductor for three consecutive years. He also produced operas for The Urban Council of Hong Kong for five successive years.
In 1998 he was the founding artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival, which plays an active role in commissioning new works from today’s prominent composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki, Philip Glass, Guo Wenjing, and Ye Xiaogang.
In 2000 Long Yu co-founded the China Philharmonic Orchestra and became its artistic director and principal conductor. In 2003 he became music director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. Deutsche Grammophon has released his recordings of Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture, Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G minor in Arnold Schoenberg’s orchestration, and a wide range of Chinese orchestral music, including Yellow River Concerto with Lang Lang. His recordings on Naxos include the Korngold and Goldmark Violin Concertos with Vera Tsu as soloist, as well as Ding Shande’s Long March Symphony. Long Yu is a Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the recipient of the 2002 Arts Patronage Award of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation.
In 2005 President Berlusconi honored him with the title of L’onorificenza di commendatore. Twenty-nine-year-old pianist Lang Lang plays sold-out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world. He appeared in the 2009 Time 100 — Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2008 more than four billion people viewed his performance in Beijing’s opening ceremony for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.
His status has inspired more than 40 million Chinese children to learn to play classical piano, and in 2008 The Recording Academy named him its Cultural Ambassador to China. Most recently, Lang Lang was chosen as an official worldwide ambassador to the 2010 Shanghai Expo, where he played at the opening ceremony.
Lang Lang has made it his mission to broaden the reach of classical music around the world, with a focus on children. In 2004 he was appointed an International Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). In 2008 he established the Lang Lang International Music Foundation with the mission of inspiring the next generation of classical music lovers and performers by cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences.
In 2011 the Lang Lang Music World was launched to share Lang Lang’s global view, experiences, and knowledge in piano education to nurture and provide exclusive opportunities for young talent. Lang Lang, who began playing the piano at the age of three, gained widespread acclaim at age 17 when he was called upon as a last-minute substitution at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Gala of the Century.”
In February 2010 he joined Sony Music Entertainment as an exclusive recording artist; his first album with Sony features a live recording of his 2010 recital at Vienna’s Musikverein. He recently released his new CD, Liszt, My Piano Hero, and the DVD, Liszt, Now!, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the great Hungarian composer. Lang Lang last appeared with the New York Philharmonic on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2010, performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, led by Alan Gilbert.
Principal Oboe Liang Wang, The Alice Tully Chair, joined the New York Philharmonic in September 2006. Previously, he was principal oboe of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (2005–06) and principal oboe of the Santa Fe Opera (2004–05).
Born in Qing Dao, China, in 1980, Mr. Wang began oboe studies at the age of seven. In 1993 he enrolled at the Beijing Central Conservatory, and two years later became a fullscholarship student at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 2003 at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Philadelphia Orchestra principal oboist Richard Woodhams.
He was a prize winner at the 2003 Fernard Gillet International Oboe Competition and a prizewinner at the 2002 Tilden Prize Competition. Since graduating from Curtis, Mr. Wang has also served as principal oboe with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and associate principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony; he was also a guest principal oboist with the Chicago and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras.
An active chamber musician, he has appeared with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Angel Fire Music Festival. He has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra in Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto, and in Santa Fe, performing oboe concertos by Marcello and Vivaldi. He has given master classes at the Cincinnati Conservatory, was on the oboe faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, and is currently on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and New York University. Mr. Wang made his New York Philharmonic solo debut in Hong Kong on the Orchestra’s Asia 2008 tour.
Tang Jun Qiao plays Chinese Dizi (Chinese traditional flute). She began to learn Dizi as a teenager and made her debut recital at the age of 16. In 1992 she entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and subsequently joined the Shanghai Ensemble of Chinese Traditional Instruments as principal flutist.
She has won numerous awards, and in 2004 and 2005 and was named one of the Top Ten Artists of Shanghai. She has given recitals in Asia and Europe, and in music festivals around the world, and she was invited by composer Tan Dun to play and record music for the Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which she subsequently performed with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. She has also recorded new music by leading contemporary Chinese composers.
Tang Jun Qiao is now professor of Dizi at Shanghai Conservatory of Music, a member of the All-China Musician Association, director of the All-China Traditional Instrumental Ensemble, and artistic director and music consultant of the Macao Youth Ensemble of traditional Chinese instruments. She is making her New York Philharmonic debut in this concert. Quintessenso Mongolian Children’s Choir is a chorus of 37 children, ages 5 to 12.
They come from the far end of Northeast China in the area of the world-renowned Hulun Buir Grassland, where they draw musical inspiration from the mystic forests, rivers, and lakes, and inherit their cultural heritage from the same Mongolian spring that brought up Genghis Khan. The children of five ancient Hulun Buir grassland tribes — Oroqen, Ewenke, Daghur, Buryat, and Baerhu — formed the Quintesseno Choir, and under the teaching and guidance of Burenbayaer and Wurina, China’s famous grassland singers, they sing traditional Hulun Buir folk songs and nursery rhymes. They perform more than forty songs, five in their own national languages. Two thirds of the children live in the pastureland, farming areas, and forest regions. This is the ensemble’s New York Philharmonic debut.