Austrian conductor to lead New Year concerts in Shanghai

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Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Most will lead the Shanghai Opera House orchestra in its New Year concerts at the Shanghai Grand Theater on Dec 30-31.

Franz Welser-Most [Photo provided to China Daily]

In 2014, the Shanghai Grand Theater first put on two concerts to celebrate New Year, and invited internationally acclaimed musicians to work with a local orchestra in Shanghai, said Zhang Xiaoding, general manager of SGT.

Most is currently the music director of the Cleveland Orchestra in the United States. He conducted the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Concert in 2011 and 2013.

Xu Zhong, director of the Shanghai Opera House, praised Most for his success in conducting a large number of opera productions, as well as his interpretation of pieces by Wagner and Strauss.

"I believe the maestro conductor will share his unique ideas and deep understanding of classical music with Shanghai audiences," Xu said.

The concert on Dec 30 consists of preludes to The Merry Wives of Windsor by Otto Nicolai, Light Cavalry by Franz von Suppe, and Schubert's Symphony No 3.

On New Year's Eve, the Shanghai Opera House orchestra will present Beethoven's Symphony No 9, featuring soprano Xu Xiaoying, mezzo-soprano Jia Wenxuan, tenor Han Peng and baritone Yang Xiaoyong, and the chorus of Shanghai Opera House.

Most chose to present some less-performed pieces for the first concert, opting to select the works himself. "There is a huge repertoire. We don't have to play the same pieces over and over again," he said. "In the end, every piece is a masterpiece."

He praised the Shanghai Opera House orchestra for its "flexibility" and a number of "fabulous musicians".

Most will lead the Cleveland Orchestra on a China tour in 2019.

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