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Concert hall offers new season of delights
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German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter

One of the finest concert halls in China, the 80-year-old Shanghai Concert Hall, has begun its program for the 2009-10 season.

Neeme Jarvi and Hague Philharmonic concert took the stage for the opening performance on Wednesday.

Nielsen's "Four Movements from the Aladdin Suite" - "Oriental March," "Aladdin's Dream," "China Dance" and "Negro Dance," Liszt's "Piano Concerto No. 1" with soloist Feng Ying and Rimsky Korsakov's "Scheherazade" were featured at the concert.

Over the season, the concert hall will host more than 100 concerts of the highest possible quality.

Award-winning violinist Gil Shaham will perform works by Haydn and Mendelssohn in December.

Shaham is one of the most energetic and charming classical musicians in the world, and he has received invitations from many well-known orchestras, conductors and music festivals.

Renowned German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter will give a violin recital next April featuring Brahms' violin sonatas. Born in Rheinfelden in Baden, Mutter is one of the greatest violin virtuosos of our time.

She embarked on her international career as a soloist in 1976 at the Lucerne Festival and a year later made her Salzburg debut at the Whitsun Concerts under Herbert von Karajan.

Next year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederic Chopin, and maestro Fou Ts'ong is to offer the audience a true Chopin experience as a tribute to the great Polish composer with a piano recital of the composer's best-known works next May.

Fou has held recitals annually at the Concert Hall for five years, stunning the audience with his incomparable musicality.

The Times newspaper in the United Kingdom considered Fou "one of the most popular and respected pianists in the world."

Hermann Hesse, the Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, said that "it was real Chopin. The Chopin of Warsaw and Paris, the Chopin of Heinrich Heine" after he listened to one of Fou's performances.

The new season of the Concert Hall will also feature several other world-renowned musicians, including Austrian pianist Anton Kuerti, Spanish guitarist Pepe Romero, British trumpeter Alison Balsom and violinist Augustin Dumay from Belgium.

The local concert hall, making a major contribution to the development of young local talent, will give them more performance opportunities and the chance to work with renowned musicians during the new season.

Some themed music festivals will be held during the new season, such as the "Jeans Cool Music Festival" to attract more audiences to classical music.

At the same time, the ticket prices of more than 60 performances in the new season will start from as little as 50 yuan (US$7.3), and some 20 concerts will have tickets at 150 yuan.

"We hope we can provide more good opportunities to the audience to come to the Concert Hall and enjoy the delicate classical music," says Xiao Tiansheng, director of the Shanghai Concert Hall.

Address: 523 Yan'an Rd E.

Tel: 5386-6666

Website: www.shanghaiconcerthall.org

(Shanghai Daily September 11, 2009)

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