Sorry, this entry is only available in Rus.
The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra with bells on. Photo: SCMP Pictures
The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra is extending its frontiers to Siberia with the first visit to the Ural region by a Chinese ensemble.
Performing at the Chelyabinsk Opera House tonight, the 85-strong orchestra is a guest of the Eurasia-2013 International Music Festival hosted by the Sverdlovsk regional government. Its capital city, Ekaterinburg, the second stop for the Hong Kong orchestra tomorrow, is a bidder for the 2020 World Expo.
Located at Asia and Europe’s border, the festival features top ensembles, including those from Amsterdam, Mannheim and Leipzig, and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s culture minister, called them “prominent representatives of the European and Asian cultures”.
Yan Huichang, the orchestra’s principal conductor, said the invitation was the best proof that Chinese orchestra as an artistic form could stand side by side with Western symphony orchestras.
“This shows that all the hard work over the years in fine-tuning the orchestral structure and building repertory is now bearing fruit and gaining international recognition,” he said from Russia.
Tsang Tak-sing, the Secretary for Home Affairs who will attend the final leg in Moscow on October 10, called the Chinese Orchestra “a cultural ambassador of Hong Kong showcasing the vibrancy, cultural diversity and achievements of Asia’s world city”. The programme will feature two local works in very different styles.
“Chan Ming-chi’s Jing, Qi, Shen is an abstract piece showcasing the special timbre of Chinese instruments, whereas Law Wing-fai’s Tang Capriccio is a musical interpretation of the great poetic art of the Tang dynasty,” Yan said.
The concert will end with The Yellow River Capriccio, which requires the audience to swing rattle drums together with the rousing percussion on stage.
Celina Chin, the orchestra’s chief executive, said the Siberian tour posed tough challenges in logistics, especially the bulky instruments, despite financial input of HK$2.67 million from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
“Our instruments were shipped even before [Typhoon] Usagi hit as it took a long time for customs clearance. We’ve been rehearsing with substitute instruments since,” she said.