Shanghai concerts honor Beethoven's birthday

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Pianist-turned-conductor Xu Zhong will present two concerts of Ludwig van Beethoven's symphonies on Oct 9 and Dec 6 at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. [Photo provided to]

The Shanghai Grand Theatre will present two concerts of Ludwig van Beethoven's symphonies on Oct 9 and Dec 6.

The Shanghai Opera House Symphony will be playing under the baton of maestro Xu Zhong, director of Shanghai Opera House, performing Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 and 3 on Oct 9 and Symphony No. 4 and 6 on Dec 6.

These concerts are part of the celebration of the German musician's 250th birthday at Shanghai Grand Theatre.

As a pianist-turned-conductor, Xu said his understanding of Beethoven's symphonies come from his familiarity with the musician's piano concertos. Each conductor is supposed to build his own interpretation of these symphonies without losing the composer's distinctive style.

Of the four pieces, Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 "Eroica" and 6 "Pastoral" are more frequently performed, while 4 and 8 are less familiar to audiences. "Each of Beethoven's nine symphonies is brilliant and well balanced," Xu told the media on Tuesday. "You can play Beethoven any time and give audiences a great musical experience."

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