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Qigang Chen’s Joie Éternelle Receives US Premiere with New York Philharmonic

(January 2017)

Chen_4NewsCentre_2003_ZhangQi.jpg Qigang Chen’s Joie Éternelle for Trumpet and Orchestra travels to New York for its US premiere at David Geffen Hall. It will be performed by the New York Philharmonic with soloist Alison Balsom and guest conductor Long Yu, who both first premiered the work in 2014 with the China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing and have since performed the work around the world.

Qigang Chen’s Joie Éternelle for Trumpet and Orchestra (2014) receives its US premiere in David Geffen Hall on January 31, 2017, featured as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Chinese New Year Celebration. The piece features English trumpet soloist Alison Balsom and guest conductor Long Yu, who both first premiered the work in 2014 with the China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing.

Balsom and Long Yu have since performed the work around the world, touring it to the BBC Proms in London with the China Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with the Münchner Philharmoniker, and to Shanghai with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. After the New York performance, Bolsom and Long Yu travel to Toronto to give the Canadian premiere on February 4 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall.

One of today’s most preeminent composers hailing from China, Qigang Chen based the 18-minute work on a much-loved Chinese melody. The composer details, "I heard the melody for the first time as a small child, in the famous Kun opera Peony Pavilion by Tang Xian Zu. Subsequent encounters with the tune as an adult have thus always evoked childhood memories." Qigang Chen chose to use trumpet—a traditionally Western instrument—to recreate the well-known tune. In its review of the UK premiere, the Financial Times described it as "an evocative mood piece, as much French in its subtle impressionism as Chinese."

Qigang Chen discusses writing for the trumpet: "I imagine the soloist conveying the wild inner character of the music while playing an elegant, beautiful melody. In writing the piece, I have deliberately set up a lot of challenges for the player not only in terms of musical expressivity and techniques, but also regarding sheer physicality."

Joie Eternelle was jointly commissioned by KT Wong Foundation and China Philharmonic; BBC Radio 3, which presented the UK premiere with the same performers at the BBC Proms on July 19, 2014; Stichting Omroep Muziek / NTR ZaterdagMatinee, which presented the Dutch premiere on February 13, 2016; and MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra.


>  Further information on Work: Joie Eternelle

Photo: Zhang Qi

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