NCPA Orchestra opens 2020-21 season

By Zhang Liying
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 18, 2020
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The China NCPA Orchestra perform Ludwig van Beethoven's "Egmont" in Chinese translation for the opening night of its 2020-21 season at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) on Nov. 12, 2020. [Photo courtesy of the NCPA]

The China NCPA Orchestra, resident orchestra of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), announced its 2020-21 season on Nov. 12, with Ludwig van Beethoven's "Egmont" in Chinese translation being performed on the opening night.

To commemorate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, the orchestra will present the legendary composer's nine symphonies and 11 overtures under the baton of Music Director Lyu Jia.

Australia-based composer Yu Jingjun's new work "About Beethoven," commissioned by the orchestra, will receive its world premiere during this season. 

Beethoven's string quartets and some rarely-played wind pieces will also be performed in the chamber series.

This year also marks the 160th anniversary of Gustav Mahler's birth. In the "Mahlermania" series, Lyu will conduct the orchestra in "The Song of the Earth," "Song of a Wayfarer," and the unfinished Symphony No. 10.

In addition, the orchestra will cooperate with guest conductors on major Mahler symphonies, chamber adaptations of the Austrian composer's symphonies and piano quartets.

On the theme of "Evolution," this season is naturally full of many firsts. For example, Edvard Grieg's "Peer Gynt" and Beethoven's "Egmont" feature actors Wang Yaoqing and Sun Qiang in play-reading roles, restoring the original appearance of the music and the plot in a new form of concert performance.

The 2020-21 season also includes the world premieres of the orchestra’s commissions, such as "Evolution" by Yu Jingjun and "Roosters of Dawn" by Chinese-American composer Sheng Zongliang (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and National Arts Center of Canada).

The new season, originally scheduled to open in March, had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

When the in-person concerts were suspended in the first half of 2020, the NCPA Orchestra chose to bring music to its audience via live broadcast.

In April, the orchestra started the "Spring Online" series with chamber music and small-sized symphonies. Then, it explored more concert forms in the following "Sound of Summer Blooms" and "Bright Autumn Cadenza" series.

In the most recent "An Invitation from Winter" series, the in-person concerts have been resumed at 75% of capacity. 

Under strict epidemic prevention measures, the orchestra has performed 35 concerts since the outbreak, enriching the audience's music life and becoming one of the orchestras with the most stable operation and most frequent performances in the world this year.

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