Friday, November 6, 2015

Kennedy Center Hosts US Premiere of Rediscover Chinese Music, December 11-13

Photo courtesy of China National Traditional Orchestra

From our friends at China National Traditional Orchestra...

China National Traditional Orchestra Celebrates Musical Heritage of China in Rediscover Chinese Music

United States Premiere Appearance at The John F. Kennedy Center Opera House

World-renowned China National Traditional Orchestra offers homage to Chinese musical tradition with its latest original and creative production, Rediscover Chinese Music. This unique event combines the expansive sounds of a 110-piece orchestra with story-telling, technical innovation, and stunning multimedia backdrops. This United States premiere will take place at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Opera House Friday, December 11 through Sunday, December 13.

Tickets, starting at $20 plus applicable service charges, are available online at, at The Kennedy Center Box Office, or via phone at (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.

Founded in 1960 under the guidance of the late Premier Zhou Enlai, the China National Traditional Orchestra is a state-level performing arts institution directly administered by the Ministry of Culture. Members of the orchestra - comprised of traditional instruments and a chorus - are highly esteemed musicians both at home and abroad. Rediscover Chinese Music is the sequel to Impression: Chinese Music, which premiered in 2013 at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts.

The theme of Rediscover Chinese Music is the creation of new musical settings and arrangements for ten classic programs that combines their original glory with a fresh novelty. The programs are High Mountain Flowing Water, Three Variations of the Plum Blossoms, Parting at the Yangguan Pass, Silk Road, A Moonlit Night on the Spring River, Song of the Birds, The Moon Reflected on Er-quan, Ambush from Ten Sides, and Spring Festival Overture.

China National Traditional Orchestra president Xi Qiang, an established performer on bowed string instruments and an ethnomusicologist, offered this insight:

Rediscover Chinese Music is solidly grounded on Chinese traditional aesthetics. In this production, our treatment of every instrument, every classical work, performance practice, even the stage and sets are innovative yet true to the roots of authentic traditions. We inject new ideas into masterpieces, amplifying the soul and the power inherent in Chinese traditional music, thus infusing new life in our art. I am confident Rediscover Chinese Music will touch the audience, inspiring them to appreciate the heritage and ponder the future of Chinese traditional music.”

Wang Chaoge, one of the most innovative and original directors of her generation in China, directed Rediscover Chinese Music and also wrote the script for the production. She has developed numerous large-scale multimedia productions in China that have received critical acclaim. In 2006, Wang Chaoge directed The First Emperor (with music by Tan Dun, starring Placido Domingo) at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. She also served on the core creative team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was the director and curator of the 2010 World Expo China Private Museum.

Liu Sha and He Jianguo are the resident conductors for the China National Traditional Orchestra. Liu Sha is widely recognized as an outstanding leader among the new generation of traditional orchestra conductors. To date, he has conducted the China National Traditional Orchestra on its tours to Russia, France, South Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, and the United States. In recent years, He Jianguo has conducted the China National Traditional Orchestra on many of its large-scale concerts, including Chinese Tone Colors, Grand Music from China, Impression: Chinese Music and Silk Road, all recognized for artistic excellence by the Ministry of Culture. His Tibetan Spring received the accolade of cultural frontier “model project” by the Ministry of Culture. In 2013, He received the Ministry of Culture’s Recognition of Excellence for Conducting.

The creative team for Rediscover Chinese Music also includes Jiang Ying (composer and arranger), Li Bin (stage design), Wang Yugang (lighting design), Gan Hua and Zheng Zejian (multimedia design), Zuo Huanyu (costume design), Shen Tian (sound design), and Xi Qiang (producer).

Rediscover Chinese Music is brought to the United States as part of Image China, a cultural exchange program presented by China Arts and Entertainment Group. Image China introduces China’s traditional culture and contemporary award-winning art works to the world. Since its inception in 2009, many Image China productions have been performed at Lincoln Center in New York City and at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., including the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Dance Academy: Butterfly Lovers, the dance dramas Forbidden Fruit Under the Great Wall and Silk Road, The Peony Pavilion, Qingming Riverside, Wedding of Ordos, and The Red Dress. Image China proudly introduces Rediscover Chinese Music to U.S. audiences in December 2015.