(Philadelphia, January 21, 2021)—In celebration of Lunar New Year, The Philadelphia Orchestra will present a special concert on the Digital Stage at www.philorch.org, available for streaming Thursday, February 4, 2021, at 8:00 PM ET through Sunday, February 14, 2021, at 11:00 PM ET. The program, hosted by composer and conductor Tan Dun, will feature Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin in a never-before-seen recording of Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, Symphony for Microfilms, Harp, and Orchestra with Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen as soloist. Conductor David Robertson will also lead a performance of Chen Gang’s and He Zhanhao’s Butterfly Lovers, concerto for violin and orchestrawith soloist Gil Shaham. Tickets to the Lunar New Year Celebration Concert are $15 and are available at www.philorch.org.
Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, Symphony for Microfilms, Harp, and Orchestra explores the secret Nu Shu language that has been passed on for centuries from mothers to daughters and sisters in the rural Hunan province of China. It is supposedly the only language in the world used solely by women. Tan Dun learned of its existence and inaugurated a multi-year project to help in its documentation and preservation. Co-commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra, Japan’s NHK Symphony, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Philadelphians with Nézet-Séguin and Hainen gave the United States premiere of Nu Shu in October 2013. This never-before-seen performance on the Lunar New Year Celebration Concert was recorded in 2017.
Chen Gang’s and He Zhanhao’s Butterfly Lovers, concerto for violin and orchestra, written in 1959,is an orchestral adaptation of an ancient legend, the Butterfly Lovers, which tells the tragic love story of a pair of lovers. The piece is considered one of the most famous orchestral works of Chinese music. The Philadelphia Orchestra previously performed the concerto with members of the Shanghai City Symphony, as part of residency activities during the 2014 Tour of Asia and China Residency. The Orchestra also performed selections from the piece with members of the National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra at the China National Tourism Year Administration’s Closing Ceremony in Washington, D.C. in 2016, and in 2017 in Beijing alongside the Starry Sky Orchestra.
In 1973, The Philadelphia Orchestra became the first American orchestra to perform in the People’s Republic of China, at the request of President Richard Nixon. The Orchestra continues to work with long-term partners in China in concert halls, educational institutions, and civic settings, serving as a bridge for people-to-people exchange through music.
Lunar New Year Celebration Concert
February 4, at 8:00 PM–February 14, at 11:00 PM
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Tan Dun Host
Chen and He Butterfly Lovers, concerto for violin and orchestra
David Robertson Conductor
Gil Shaham Violin
Tan Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, Symphony for Microfilms, Harp, and Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Elizabeth Hainen Harp
The Philadelphia Orchestra's 2021 Lunar New Year concert is sponsored by Temple University, with additional support by White and Williams LLP.
The performance of Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women was made possible by generous support from:
The Aaron Family Foundation
Aaron B. Cohen
David Gerhold and Yuan Liu
Stuart and Ellin Hirsch
Dr. and Mrs. Frederic H. Honigman
Lynn and Anthony C. Salvo
Lee F. Shlifer
Mary Sue Welsh
Avram and Rita Woidislawsky
Bin Zhang and Liqun Qian
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