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Hey Hey… it’s the Year of the Monkey!

Queensland Symphony Orchestra to celebrate Chinese New Year with an extraordinary international music event on February 11. 

Chinese New Year will be welcomed in Brisbane with an extraordinary musical event – Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Year of the Monkey concert, a joyous fusion of traditional Chinese music, great Western masterpieces.

Under the baton of Asia’s pre-eminent young conductor, Darrell Ang, the concert will feature leading virtuosos from China, and will see the traditional Chinese Erhu played with the Orchestra for the first time. 

The concert features Chinese cellist Li-Wei Qin, who according to The New York Times “has a meltingly beautiful tone, flawless centered intonation and an ironclad technique”, while Ma Xiaohui, famed globally for her talent, will perform on the Erhu  (a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, known in the Western world as the ‘Chinese violin’).

On piano will be Yingdi Sun, a musical prodigy, who came to international attention in 2005 when he won the first prize at the 7th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in the Netherlands. He was the first Chinese winner of this prestigious competition.

Giving voice to The Year of the Monkey concert is none other than Aoyun Gerile, honoured in China as a legendary mezzo-soprano. A lead soloist in the China National Opera Dance Drama Theatre, she has performed internationally, with her career highlights including solos in Aida, Turandot, Romeo and Juliet, Messiah, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 and Mahler’s Symphony No.8.  She is perhaps best known in China as a pop star, and is much admired for her folk-inspired albums.

The Year of the Monkey concert will feature the contemporary genius of Qigang Chen, whose work bridges traditional Chinese elements with Western instrumental forces. The title of his Reflet d’un temps disparu (Reflection of a vanished time) describes what the music is about. It is based on an old Chinese melody, which slowly explores and muses upon the dialogue between cello and orchestra. This very attractive, nostalgic piece is cast as a simple arch-form slowly building-up towards a massive climax before retracing its way back into silence.

To be held on Thursday February 11 at Brisbane City Hall, the concert is the first of QSO’s acclaimed WorldBeat series for 2016 and it will be presented under the proud patronage of His Excellency Mr Ma Zhaoxu, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Australia.

Concert details