China Philharmonic Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Photo courtesy of Long Yu, Facebook

On Monday, Dec. 5, the acclaimed China Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) will perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Founded in 2000 and led by Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Long Yu, the China Philharmonic Orchestra is regarded as one of China’s top orchestras and an active advocate of Chinese music worldwide. In 2009, the CPO was included in Gramophone's list of “The 10 Most Inspiring Orchestras.”

One of the most internationally renowned Chinese conductors, Long Yu is Music Director of the China Philharmonic and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestras. In addition, he is a co-founder and the Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival.

Music prodigy Serena Wang will be featured on piano. Born in 2004, Serena Wang (Wang Yalun in Chinese) started playing the piano under Sumi Nagasawa at the age of four. In 2010, at age five, she became the youngest prizewinner of the Bach Piano Competition at Berkeley University, and also, as the youngest competitor, the first prizewinner of the Northern California China Music Teacher Institute Piano Competition.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
China Philharmonic Orchestra | Photo courtesy of CAMI

The program opens with Enchantements oubliés by Qigang Chen, who fuses Chinese and Western elements and concepts, include music for piano and organ, Chinese instruments (alone and with orchestra), and a four-act ballet based on the film Raise the Red Lantern, as well as numerous chamber and orchestral pieces. He was the Music Director for the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Following Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, the concert concludes with a tribute to the United States, by way of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s most beloved work, Symphony No. 9 "From the New World."  Dvořák based his symphony on what he heard here as themes coming from spirituals and Native American melodies.

Taking place an hour before the concert, Upbeat Live is an informative and engaging way to be educated about the music that will be performed that night. You'll be led through music theory, a guided listening and learn about the program's historical and cultural context. Plus, you'll hear interviews with guest artists and members of the LA Phil and participate in a Q & A. Upbeat Live starts at 7 p.m. and is presented by Alan Chapman, heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Classical KUSC (91.5 FM).