Concert features miracle pianist at Shenzhen Concert Hall on May 26


Liu Meng-chieh

Conducted by its artistic director Lin Daye, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will bring a night of Mozart and Rachmaninoff in collaboration with pianist Liu Meng-chieh.

The concert will open with Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro Overture,” a very fast opera overture in D major often played independently at concerts. Then, SSO will perform “Symphony No.40 in G Minor,” also from the classical composer. One of Mozart’s most admired works, the four-movement symphony is frequently performed and recorded. Many musicians today think the piece is tragic in tone and intensely emotional. U.S. pianist and writer on music Charles Rosen called it “a work of passion, violence and grief.”

In the second half of the concert, Liu will perform Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No.3 in D Minor” with SSO.

The concerto composed in 1909 has the reputation of being one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire. It is respected, even feared, by many pianists. Josef Hofmann, the pianist to whom the work is dedicated, never publicly performed it. Gary Graffman lamented he had not learned this concerto as a student, when he was “still too young to know fear.” It was first performed Nov. 28, 1909 by Rachmaninoff himself with the now-defunct New York Symphony Society with Walter Damrosch conducting.

Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Liu was accepted by the Curtis Institute of Music at 13 to study with Jorge Bolet, Claude Frank and Eleanor Sokoloff, and received first-place prizes in the Stravinsky, Asia Pacific and Mieczyslaw Munz piano competitions.

A recipient of the 2002 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he first made headlines in 1993 as a 21-year-old student, when he substituted for Andre Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with three hours’ notice. His acclaimed performance was followed by a number of widely praised appearances, including a recital at the Kennedy Center.

The stellar beginning of his career was abruptly halted by a rare immune system disorder. He was paralyzed and doctors even announced that his chance of survival was slim. However, after more than one year in hospital and strenuous rehabilitation, he has been restored to health and has returned to the concert stage. Since then, he has performed throughout the world as a soloist in recitals and with orchestras under conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel and Alan Gilbert.

He has been a member of the Curtis faculty since 1993 and also serves on the faculties of Roosevelt University and the New England Conservatory.

Tickets: 50-380 yuan

Time: 8 p.m., May 26

Venue: Shenzhen Concert Hall, intersection of Hongli Road and Yitian Road, Futian District (福田区红荔路和益田路交汇处深圳音乐厅)

Metro: Line 3 or 4, Children’s Palace Station (少年宫站), Exit D(Debra Li)




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