Wiener Symphoniker, Simone Young, Austria, 2014

Tour Dates: 29 May - 8 June, 2014

As Vienna's cultural ambassador and premier concert orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker handles the lion's share of symphonic activity that makes up the musical life of the city.

Tour Dates
  • 29 May - 8 June, 2014
30-31 May 19:30 Changhua County Stadium
2 June 20:00 Xinghai Concert Hall 400-108-8808
3 June 20:00 Zhongshan Culture and Arts Centre 0760-88223666
6 June 19:30 Shanghai Grand Theatre 400-880-2880
7 June 19:30 NCPA 010-66550000
8 June 19:30 Tianjin Grand Theatre 022-83882000

As Vienna’s cultural ambassador and premier concert orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker handles the lion’s share of symphonic activity that makes up the musical life of the Austrian capital. The preservation of the traditional, Viennese orchestral sound occupies a central place in the orchestra’s various artistic pursuits.

The end of the nineteenth century was precisely the right time to establish a new Viennese orchestra for the purpose of presenting orchestral concerts with broad appeal, on the one hand, and to meet the need for first performances and premieres of contemporary works, on the other. In October 1900, the newly formed Wiener Concertverein, as it was called back then, gave its first public performance at the Vienna Musikverein with Ferdinand Löwe on the podium. The Wiener Symphoniker has premiered works that are now undisputed staples of the orchestral repertoire, including Anton Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony, Arnold Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder, Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, and Franz Schmidt’s The Book withSeven Seals.

Over the course of its history, conducting greats like Bruno Walter, Richard Strauss, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Oswald Kabasta, George Szell and Hans Knappertsbusch have left an indelible mark on the orchestra. In later decades, Herbert von Karajan (1950-1960) and Wolfgang Sawallisch (1960-1970) were the Chief Conductors who moulded the sound of the orchestra most significantly. After the brief return of Josef Krips, the position of Chief Conductor was filled by Carlo Maria Giulini and Gennadij Roshdestvensky. Georges Prêtre was Chief Conductor from 1986 to 1991. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Vladimir Fedoseyev then assumed leadership of the orchestra. Fabio Luisi assumed the position of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director at the start of the 2005/06 season, his successor in 2014/15 will be Philippe Jordan.

Leading lights who have enjoyed notable success as guests on the podium of the Wiener Symphoniker include Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado and Sergiu Celibidache. The Wiener Symphoniker appear in more than 150 concerts and operatic performances per season, the vast majority of which take place in Vienna’s well-known concert venues, the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus. Added to that is a very busy and extensive touring schedule. Since 1946, the Wiener Symphoniker have been the orchestra in residence at the Bregenz Festival, where it also plays the majority of operatic and symphonic performances. The orchestra also took on a new challenge at the beginning of 2006: That’s when the Theater an der Wien became a functioning opera house again, and the orchestra has been responsible for a significant number of productions ever since.

Conductor: Simone Young

Australian-born Simone Young is internationally recognised as one of the leading conductors of her generation. In August 2005 she took up the post of General Manager and Music Director of the Hamburgische Staatsoper and Music Director of the Philharmonic State Orchestra.

She was Music Director of Opera Australia from 2001 to 2003, Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from 1999 to 2002 and among others has conducted the Berlin, Vienna, Munich, London and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz.

She is an acknowledged interpreter of the operas of Wagner and Richard Strauss including Der Ring des Nibelungen, which she has conducted most recently to great acclaim at the Staatsoper in Berlin, and the Vienna Staatsoper. Other companies she has worked with include the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Bastille in Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Los Angeles Opera and Houston Grand Opera.

In 2007 Simone was elected to the Akademie der Künste in Hamburg, and was named Professor at theMusikhochschule in Hamburg. Her awards include Green Room Awards for her 1996 performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Melbourne Festival, 2001 performances of Tristan und Isolde and 2003 performances of Lulu, the 2005 Helpmann Award for Best Classical Concert with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the 2002 Helpmann Award for Best Musical Direction (Andrea Chenier) and the Australian Mo Award for “Classical Performer of the Year”. She has received Honorary Doctorates from Monash University and the University of New South Wales, and has been honoured with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France.

In 2004 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List. In 2005 she received the prestigious Goethe Institute Medal.

Violin Soloist: Mengla Huang

One of the most respected violinists in China, Mengla Huang occupies a unique position in a land brimming with astonishing talents. Huang came to international attention after taking first prize at the prestigious Premio Paganini International Violin Competition in Italy in 2002, where he was also awarded with the Renato De Barbieri Memorial Award for the best interpretation of Paganini's Caprices, and the Mario Ruminelli Memorial Award.

Since then, his brilliant technique and unique interpretations have fascinated audiences throughout Asia, Europe and North America. He has performed with many of the world's finest orchestras including the Dresden Staatskapelle, Bamberg, Danish National, Norrköping, Singapore, Sendai, NHK, and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras, the Luxembourg, Nice, Czech, Belgrade, Osaka, Kyoto, Japan, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, and in his native land the China National, and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, among many others.

Conductors with whom he has collaborated include names such as Neeme Järvi, Jonathan Nott, Mario Venzago, Henrik Schaefer, Muhai Tang, Nicola Luisotti, Edo de Waart, Nikolaj Znaider, Jahja Ling, Jia Lü, Ryusuke Numajiri, Thomas Dausgaard, and Tovey Bramwell.

In April 2007, Huang gave his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center and his Boston debut at the Jordan Hall, and the following year toured both Asia and Italy, debuting at Dvorak Hall during the 63rd Prague Spring Festival in May. He capped the year with an invitation to perform at the grand opening gala of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

Last season saw further debuts and honours, including a featured performance at the 'Paganini Festival' in Taiwan, engagements with the Hamburger Symphoniker, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Macao Orchestra, a Japan tour with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and a China tour with the Basel Symphony Orchestra. At the beginning of 2011, he initiated cooperation with the renowned Dresden Staatskapelle and toured together in China. Then his tour with Czech Philharmonic Orchestra was marked as the prelude of 2011/12 season.

Born after 1980s in Shanghai, Mengla Huang passed his educational years with three great violinists in three most prestigious musical institutions and achieved his degrees separately, these names include Prof. Lina Yu from Shanghai Musical Conservatory; Prof. György Pauk from Royal Academy of Music, UK; and Prof. Thomas Brandis from Musikhochschule Lübeck, Germany.

In addition to the Paganini prizes, Huang was awarded the Gold Medal and Public Prize in the 2001 Sendai International Music Competition in Japan; Best Performance Prize in the 2001 Shanghai Spring International Festival, and the Second Prize in the 2000 Lipinsky and Wieniawsky International Violin Competition in Poland. In 2007, he received the first Montegrappa's Genio Creativo Award, an annual international award for young talented artists who represent creativity and innovation in different fields of art from different countries.

Mengla Huang is a recording artist of Universal Music. 2005 saw his debut album Violin Showpieces on Deutsche Grammophon label. His second recital album also released on Deutsche Grammophon, a collection of works written by violinist-composers titled Violinissimo, was released in 2008. His last recording project was the 24 caprices by Paganini, which was released in 2011.

"At Bruckner’s Third Symphony, the expressively playing Wiener Symphoniker were of great tonal beauty, guided by a brilliantly conducting SimoneYoung."

-- Die Presse

Supported by Hilton Beijing
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