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China National Traditional Orchestra to stage two concerts in May
     Famed as one of the largest Chinese orchestras in the Mainland, the China National Traditional Orchestra (CNTO) will return in May for two performances with a great variety of music and a strong national flavour.

     Under the batons of National Class One Conductor Chen Xieyang and eminent young conductor Liu Sha, the orchestra will perform a series of large-scale works by Chinese composers which capture the grandeur of Chinese folk music.

     In the first concert entitled "Splendour of Folk Music", Conductor Chen Xieyang will lead a team of virtuoso performers to showcase the masterpieces of traditional Chinese music and the great ethnic diversity of China. The programme will include "Hymn to the Sun", "In Remembrance of Yunnan", "Asparas of the Silk Road" and the Hong Kong premieres of "Dream Home", "Wuji" and "Rhapsody of Xintianyou". Details are as follows:

May 6 (Saturday), 8pm
Auditorium, Sha Tin Town Hall
Tickets: $160, $240, $320 and $380

     Conductor Liu Sha and young composer Jiang Ying will collaborate in the second concert, entitled "Impressions: Rediscovering Chinese Music", with the CNTO for new renditions of old tunes. The programme will include "Silk Road", "Impressions: Chinese Music Suite", "The Yellow River" and "Moonlight over the Spring River". Details are as follows:

May 7 (Sunday), 8pm
Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Tickets: $200, $280, $360 and $450

     Founded in 1960, the CNTO is a state-level performance group comprising an orchestra and a chorus. In pursuing its mission of promoting traditional Chinese music, the orchestra composes and performs a great number of outstanding works and contributes enormously to the transmission and promotion of Chinese culture.

     After graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Chen Xieyang was appointed as the resident conductor of the Shanghai Ballet Orchestra. In 1998 and 2007, Chen led the CNTO and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on tours of Asia, the United States and Europe with great success.

     Liu Sha studied conducting at the Central Conservatory of Music in the Mainland and continued his studies at the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory. Hailed as a versatile conductor well versed in both Chinese and Western music, Liu strives to explore the development and creativity of Chinese music ensembles. In 2016 Liu was named one of the top 10 conductors in Chinese orchestral music in China and was the youngest recipient of that honour.

     The concerts by the CNTO are among the programmes of "Great Music 2017" presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and among the events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The concerts are sponsored by the Bank of China (Hong Kong). Tickets are now available at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk). For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999. For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2268 7321 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/music/programs_174.html.

     A talk entitled "Invented Tradition: Appreciation of National Traditional Orchestra" (in Cantonese) will be held at 2.30pm on April 8 (Saturday) at AC2, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The speaker will be Dr Boaz Chow.

     A masterclass for conducting and a talk entitled "Environment and Opportunities for the Development of Large-scale Chinese Ensemble in Recent Years" will be held respectively at 6pm and 7.30pm on May 5 (Friday) at the Recital Hall of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). The former will be hosted by Chen Xieyang in Putonghua while the latter will be given by Rupert Woo in Cantonese.

     Admission for the above talks and masterclass is free with limited seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free admission tickets for the activities on May 5, which are jointly organised by the LCSD and HKAPA, can now be collected at the Enquiries Counter of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Each person can obtain up to two tickets.
Ends/Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:15
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