|Yannick Nézet-Séguin Photo: Courtesy of Chris Lee
Lovers of classic music in China will be able to appreciate Chinese musician Tan Dun's latest work Nüshu (women's script) as performed by the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra during their upcoming China tour from May 21 to June 6, said orchestra vice president, Craig Hamilton, at a Beijing press event on Apr. 11, 2014.
This will be the first visit to China for the orchestra's music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, since he took over as the Philadelphia Orchestra's eighth music director in the fall of 2012. A well known music director, The New York Times has described him as "phenomenal," saying that under his baton "the ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogenous richness, has never sounded better."
In the press release, Nézet-Séguin said that he is looking forward to the upcoming China tour and is honored to have cooperated with Tan Dun on his new work.
The world's only women's script, Nüshu originated in Jiangyong county in Central China's Hunan province. Local women created the script by adapting Chinese characters into a form that could be adapted into their daily weaving and embroidery, an art form which is no longer used by many people in China. In 2013, Tan adapted the story of Nüshu into a symphony, which he later debuted in Shanghai alongside a micro-film.
Ren Xiaolong, president of the National Centre for The Performing Arts Orchestra, commented that the Philadelphia Orchestra is the only Western orchestra that has visited China for the past three consecutive years, each time bringing new symphony works. "This time they chose Nüshu, which, in my opinion, is not only a sign of their innovative spirit, but also a tribute to Chinese culture," he said.
In addition to Nüshu, the orchestra will perform well-known symphony works from maestros such as Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Mahler. The tour will cover major Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as the second-tier city of Changsha. "We hope to explore more second and third-tier cities in China," said Hamilton adding, "We will be the first US orchestra to perform in Changsha."