This blockbuster 2017 concert marks the first performance by a Chinese symphony orchestra at the Lucerne Festival, although China's appreciation for Western music is nothing new—indeed, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra's history extends back to 1879! Their irreproachable artistry is on full display in the Swiss Alps under the direction of the great Long Yu, one of the most renowned figures in his field.
From Switzerland, the prestigious Chinese ensemble presents a Russian-centric program, beginning with a work by Aaron Avshalomov (1894-1965), a professor at the Shanghai Conservatory who helped promote Western music traditions in China and whose Hutongs of Peking evokes the sonic landscape of the capital. Avshalomov's tone poem gives way to the soul-stirring Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, interpreted with astonishing bravado and profound sensitivity by the great Maxim Vengerov. With Shostakovich's monumental Fifth Symphony, composed at the height of Stalinist persecution, the program closes on a moment of great emotional release.
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
Mahler Chamber Orchestra