|Macao Orchestra, Europe Tour, 2015|
Tour Dates: 13th September - 20th September, 2015
The Macao Orchestra is a professional ensemble, organized under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government.
13th September, 2015, 19:30
The Macao Orchestra is a professional ensemble, organized under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government. In 1983, Father Áureo de Castro of the St. Pious X Academy of Music and a group of music lovers founded the Macao Chamber Orchestra. In 1984, it was incorporated into the Cultural Affairs Bureau (formerly the Cultural Institute of Macao), and benefited from a succession of musical directors: Stuart Bonner (1983-1984), Doming Lam (1984-1989) and Veiga Jardim (1989-1995). After some thoroughgoing reforms in 1995, it became the only professional orchestra in Macao, under the baton of Yuan Fang (1995-2000). In 2001, the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government expanded the chamber orchestra into a medium-sized orchestra with double winds; it was renamed the Macao Orchestra in 2002 and En Shao became its first Music Director and Principal Conductor. The arrival of first-rate musicians from all over the world in 2003 and the “gala concert” in September of the same year marked a new chapter in the development of the Orchestra. Beginning in September 2008, Lü Jia has taken over as Music Director and Principal Conductor, once again marking a turning point in the Orchestra's history.
For the past twenty-odd years, the Macao Orchestra has played an important role in the musical life of Macao. Since 1989, the Orchestra has performed every year in the Macao International Music Festival (MIMF) and Macao Arts Festival (MAF), gradually becoming the nucleus of these two major cultural events. Since September 2003, the Orchestra has included several Concert Series in every season, presenting both Western and Chinese masterpieces in a comprehensive and systematic way, and thereby encouraging the pursuit of music among a broader public. Through its refined performance style and high quality concerts, the Orchestra has become a symbol of Macao’s prosperity as an international cultural city.
The Orchestra has worked with dozens of internationally renowned musicians and conductors, among them Leonidas Kavakos, Iván Martín, Barry Douglas, Maria João Pires, John Lill, Boris Berezovsky, Kun Woo Paik, Fou Ts’ong, Lang Lang, Yundi Li, Chen Sa, Pinchas Zukerman, Antje Weithaas, Joshua Bell, Cho-Liang Lin, Sarah Chang, Yu Lina, Wang Jian, Qin Liwei, Ning Feng, Li Chuanyun, Ying Huang, Hui He, Liao Changyong, Song Zuying, Zhang Liping, Daniel Oren, Okko Kamu, David Wroe, Jahja Ling, Erich Kunzel, Lü Shao-chia, Tang Muhai, Chen Zuohuang, Chen Xieyang, Lam Bun-ching, Huang Anlun and Min Huifen.
In October 1997, the Orchestra was invited to perform two concerts at the 5th Chinese Arts Festival in Chengdu. In June 1999, it toured Portugal and Spain, performing eight concerts in five different cities. In the same year, the Orchestra participated in the 2nd Beijing International Music Festival and the 1st Shanghai International Arts Festival, where its performances were very well received.
Since May 2005, the expanded Macao Orchestra has, in addition to frequent performances around the Pearl River Delta, toured eight times to Mainland China, performing nearly forty concerts in major cities across the country, such as Beijing, Tianjin, Xi’an, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Nanning, Xinjiang, Qinghai and Gansu. These performances included appearances in the 7th Shanghai International Arts Festival, the 8th China Arts Festival (Hubei Province), the National Center for the Performing Arts’ International Performance Season, the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival 2009, the Beijing Modern Music Festival 2011 and the 2013 Seoul International Music Festival. These tours caused quite a sensation. In playing a significant role in celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of Macao’s handover in 2009, the Macao Orchestra successfully presented its charms and strengths, becoming a cultural brand name of Macao in addition to vigorously promoting the achievements of cultural development made by the Macao SAR and the cultural image of Macao.
Music Director and Principal Conductor: Lü Jia
Born into a musical family in Shanghai, Lü Jia began studying piano and cello from his parents at a very young age. He later studied conducting at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Under the instruction of renowned conductor Ms. Zheng Xiaoying, he graduated at the top of his class one year early, in 1987. Two years later, he went to Germany’s Berlin University of the Arts, where he continued his studies under Professors Hans-Martin Rabenstein and Robert Wolf.
Lü Jia was the first Chinese conductor ever to lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and to record the complete works of German composer Felix Mendelssohn. His symphonic performances, especially his interpretations of German works and those of the French Impressionists, have been praised as exemplars of "an extremely convincing musical interpretation" and "touching musical language and perfect conducting technique”.
Opera has always played a special role in Lü Jia’s career. In Italy and Germany, homelands of the European opera tradition, he has directed nearly fifty operas. As the first Asian conductor to serve as director of a nationally-recognized opera company in Italy, he was praised by one Italian music critic as “a conductor who understands Italian opera even better than Italians do”. In September of 1989, he won First Prize and the Judges’ Prize in the “Antonio Perdrotti” International Conducting Competition in Italy, his entrée into a conducting career. In 1998, he conducted Giuseppe Verdi’s classic opera La Traviata, which was recognized as the best conducting performance in Italy’s Macerata Opera Festival. In 2005, in recognition of Lü Jia’s prominent contribution to Italy’s music culture, he was awarded the President's Cup by the President of the Italian Public, Giorgio Napolitano. In 2008, the La Gazza Ladra conducted by Lü Jia was named Best Opera of the Year in the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in Italy.
At present, Mr. Lü is the Artistic Director of the Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife in Spain, the Opera Director of the China National Opera House, as well as the Honorary Dean of Dalian Arts College. Since September of 2008, he is the Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the Macao Orchestra.
Tiroler Festspielhaus Erl