July 28, 2017
The National Youth Orchestra of China (NYO-China) scored its first success on Saturday night, when it made its international debut before a capacity audience at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Under the leadership of Ludovic Morlot, the orchestra’s 105 members – all Chinese citizens between the ages of 14 and 21 – played Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony, Pulitzer-prize-winner Zhou Long’s The Rhyme of Taigu, and Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with Yuja Wang. Click here to watch medici.tv’s live webcast of their performance, still available for streaming, and here to learn more about NYO-China and hear its young members play chamber music on WQXR’s dedicated Young Artists Showcase.
As the New York Times reports, the NYO-China opened its sold-out Carnegie debut with “an urgent performance” of The Rhyme of Taigu, followed by Wang’s “commandingly virtuosic and brilliantly colorful” rendition of the Tchaikovsky. Then, “to conclude, Mr. Morlot drew a vibrant account of Dvorak’s ‘New World’ Symphony from the well-prepared players, with full-bodied string tone, folkloric charm and lots of brio.” On the heels of this inaugural appearance, Morlot and the NYO-China join pianist Olga Kern for a tour of China with performances in Beijing, Suzhou, and Shanghai later this week (July 26–29). As the New York Times put it, “If Saturday’s performance was a test run for this new venture, these Chinese musicians scored big.”
The sold-out concert represented the culmination of an intensive two-week, all-expenses-paid training residency at Pennsylvania’s East Stroudsburg University, where the students worked with Morlot and NYO-China’s suite of teaching artists, besides visiting the Yale School of Music and enjoying invaluable opportunities for cultural exchange with their American counterparts in the NYO-USA. Under the headline “Youth Meets Musical Beauty,” the New York Times’ James Oestreich noted that the residency inspired moments of pure “magic,” as when Liang Wang, principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic, helped young English horn-player Ming Liu to play the famous “Goin’ Home” melody from Dvořák’s symphony “as beautifully and soulfully as I have ever heard it.” Indeed, Oestreich recognized, “working with these gifted and committed young musicians, collaborating at every level, is among the most inspiring and rewarding parts” of a musician’s work.
Managed by a global team of administrators and advisors and generously supported by the US-China Youth Education Solutions (YES) Foundation, NYO-China provides an international platform for exceptional young Chinese musicians from all economic backgrounds. By harnessing the unparalleled power of music to transcend geopolitical borders, NYO-China represents cultural diplomacy at its best. Click here to see an introductory video about NYO-China.
High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.
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© 21C Media Group, July 2017