The Philharmonia’s second tour concert took place on Tuesday, July 22 at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. The concert hall is close to the ancient buildings of the Forbidden City, but is a modern hall with all the amenities one would expect: spacious dressing rooms, motorized stage risers for various configurations, a huge stage, and excellent lighting. This concert, like the Seoul concert, was a sellout. It was incorporated into the Musicathlon and also into a concert series that promoted classical music to a young audience.
The program featured the same works by Bernstein and Dvorak, but this time the concerto was the first cello concerto by Saint-Saens, featuring Jian Wang. Wang is one of our most distinguished alumni, and it is clear that he is a beloved artist in his native China. He received an enormous ovation after the concerto, and performed two enccores, both selections from Bach solo cello suites.
Another big hit was the world premiere of Derrick Wang’s colorful and brilliant arrangement of a Chinese folk song for full orchestra. The work features many effects emulating Chinese traditional instuments, such as the Erhu and Chinese cymbals. Violin solos were played by Wayne Lin, and he received cheers after the performance.