Qigang Chen: performances from Beijing to the West
Three new and recent Qigang Chen works with orchestra are heard this season in Beijing, travelling on for performances in the West.
Three works with orchestra by Qigang Chen are performed in Beijing this season, including two world premieres, followed by performances in the USA and Europe. Maxim Vengerov is soloist in Chen’s new violin concerto La Joie de la souffrance, premiered at the closing gala concert of the 20th Beijing Music Festival on 29 October with the China Philharmonic and Long Yu. Other commissioners include the Melbourne Symphony, Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, New Jersey Symphony and Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse.
The violin concerto is based on an ancient Chinese melody dating from the Tang Dynasty and explores the relationship between joy and suffering. Chen views these seeming opposites as "a matter of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’, inseparable and hence all things should contain both. Like loss and gain, they are bound to balance out."
Chen's recent set of orchestral variations, Luan Tan, tours to the US following performance in Beijing. Lü Jia conducts the China NCPA Orchestra on 18 October, travelling on to Carnegie Hall in New York for the work's US premiere on 30 October, San Francisco on 5 November and Ann Arbor on 7 November.
Next spring brings a new work for chorus and orchestra with a solo part for traditional Chinese opera singer, setting an 11th century text by Su Shi, a polymath and statesman from the Song Dynasty. Following performances in Beijing on 2 and 3 March by the NCPA Orchestra and Chorus under Alexandre Bloch, the work is performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival and by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Performances of Chen's works this season include the piano concerto Er Huang with soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Hong Kong (15 December) and in Lyon (17/18 May 2018) and the trumpet concerto Joie Eternelle in Leipzig (3 June 2018).