Image China : East Meets West - A Symphonic Celebration at The Opera House, Wellington
On September 19th and 20th at The Opera House, Wellington Maestro Brent Stewart leads the Orchestra Wellington in "East/West: A Symphonic Celebration" featuring soloists: Programme Director of Classical Performance and Head of Piano Studies at New Zealand School of Music Dr. Jian Liu (piano), Joanna Foote (soprano), and Bo Jiang (tenor). The program features celebrated and groundbreaking works by acclaimed Chinese composers Xilin Wang, YuankaiBao, Tian Zhou, Shiguang Wang, Chengzong Yin, Wanghua Chu, Zhuang Liu and Lihong Sheng alongside traditional Western composers Douglas Gordon Lilburn.
Masterpieces from both China and New Zealand are performed. Opening the concert is The Torch Festival by Xilin Wang, which shows the lively scene of Chinese traditional festivals in Yunnan province. Next is Drysdale Overture by Douglas Gordon Lilburn and Chinese Sights and Sounds by YuankaiBao, a well-known Chinese composer and music educator.
The second half of the concert begins with Gift by Tian Zhou, a Grammy-nominated Chinese-American composer. It can be felt that The Song of Yangtze River by Shiguang Wang echoes the New Zealand folk song Pokarekare Ana. And the concert will conclude with the celebrated piano concerto The Yellow River, performed by pianist Jian Liu.
These two concerts are produced by China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd. (CAEG), and is part of CAEG's Image China cultural exchange initiative, which seeks to introduce traditional and contemporary Chinese performing arts to audiences around the world. Since its inception in 2009, Image China has presented a series of works at venues across the globe, including Lincoln Center in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and performance venues in Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe. In previous years, such productions as the song and dance show Wind of Colorful Guizhou, dance dramas The Penony, The Embroidery Girl and The Red Dress under Image China were presented in New Zealand and warmly welcomed by the local audience.
About the Orchestra Wellington
With a rich history as New Zealand’s oldest regional orchestra founded over seventy years ago, Orchestra Wellington’s audience numbers have grown rapidly to become one of the most consistently well attended in the country. With progressive programmes, accessible pricing, and a focus on community outreach, Orchestra Wellington is now recognised as one of the most exciting and progressive orchestras in the world. For more information, please visit orchestrawellington.co.nz.
About Brent Stewart
Brent Stewart is a leading musical figure in New Zealand, working as a conductor, percussionist, pianist, and teacher. Since 2014, Brent has been Music Director of New Zealand's premier symphonic choir, Orpheus Choir Wellington. Under Brent's direction, Orpheus has consistently presented dramatic, spectacular, and emotionally charged performances of stunning choral music, including Vaughan-Williams' A Sea Symphony, Orff's Carmina Burana, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, and Mozart's Requiem. Orpheus now regularly sells out their subscription series and regularly performs with Orchestra Wellington and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. For more information, please visit brentstewart.kiwi.
About Jian Liu
An internationally celebrated concert pianist, chamber musician, and educator, Dr. Jian Liu has performed and taught throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. His artistry has taken him to some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Steinway Hall in New York, and as a featured soloist with orchestras including Symphony Orchestra of National Philharmonic Society of Ukraine, China National Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and Yale Philharmonia, among others. He has also recorded many CDs, one of which, Debussy Sonatas and Piano Trio, has been nominated as Best Classical Artist in the New Zealand Music Awards. For more information, please visit jianliupiano.com.
About Joanna Foote
Soprano Joanna Foote is described as having a “beautiful voice which reaches high notes effortlessly” and “sparkle-eyed charm”. She holds a Master’s in Music from UCLA and a Bachelor of Music from The University of Auckland. She recently made her début with NZOpera singing Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and looks forward to singing Vixen for Festival Opera in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen as part of the 2022 Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival. For more information, please visit joannafoote.com.
About Bo Jiang
As a famous tenor of the New Zealand Opera Company, Bo Jiang has a bright voice. He is deeply loved by the audience and highly appreciated by the Prime Minister of New Zealand. He has been invited to perform in various large-scale performances, including Carmen, Tosca, Turando, La Traviata and many other operas. He has cooperated many concerts with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the songs he performed: O Sole Mio, From Afar and I Love You China were well enjoyed by the audience.
China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd. (CAEG)
As China’s only central state-owned cultural enterprise that has performance and exhibition business worldwide, CAEG has developed a nationwide market network of international performing arts, art exhibitions, and culture & tourism and theater operation, and set up branches in major cities in China and some European and American countries. It initially established an integrative operating system under the guidance of “Starting from China and going global” and is expanding its presence at home and abroad. CAEG was elected one of the “Top 30 China Cultural Enterprises” for eight consecutive years since 2009.