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Invitation: Chinese New Year's Concert, Tuesday 29 Jan

1 January 2019

The EU-Asia Centre
and the
Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union
are delighted to invite you to the 
Celebration Concert on the occasion of the 2019 Chinese New Year
with Maestro Tan Dun and the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra.
The concert will take place on Tuesday 29 January at 20.00 at the Flagey Concert Hall, Studio 4, Place Sainte-Croix, 1050 Brussels. Please register before 14 January 2019 by clicking the red button below.


19:00 - 20:00 Registration
20:00 - 22:30 Concert
• Igor Stravinsky
Fireworks, Op.4
• Tan Dun
Symphonic Poem for Piano & Qingyi
GSO Commission, supported by the China National Arts Fund “New Works for the Stage, 2015”
—— Intermission——
• Ren Tongxiang
100 Birds Flying Towards the Phoenix for suona and orchestra
• Igor Stravinsky
Firebird Suite (1919)
Introduction, L’oiseau de feu et sa danse, variation de l’oiseau de feu
Ronde des Princesses
Danse infernale du roi Kastcheï
Berceuse, Finale



Since its founding in 1957, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra (GSO) has developed into one of the most artistically excellent and vibrant orchestral institutions in China. It is the first and only Chinese symphony orchestra to have toured and performed on five continents, receiving acclaim as “one of China’s most prestigious music ensembles” (China Daily) and “China’s nexus of musical tradition and innovation” (Financial Times).


The GSO has sustained long-term relationships with numerous renowned musicians at home and abroad, establishing a wide international network and enjoying a high reputation among the world’s music circles. In the past seasons, the GSO has regularly invited the most accomplished conductors, soloists and singers to collaborate in repertoire ranging from Baroque to modern pieces, attracting a wider audience and creating valuable opportunities for the orchestra’s musicians to improve their expertise. “It was the best sound I ever heard from among Chinese orchestras,” the famous Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki remarked after attending a GSO concert. In 2004, international artist agencies began to engage the GSO for international performance tours and high-profile cultural programs, bringing the orchestra and its reputation to every corner of the world.
Beginning in 2000, the GSO was sent on numerous tours by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government to Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Singapore, among others. The GSO had the privilege to perform on the stages of the Goldenensaal of Vienna’s Musikverein, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Cairo Opera House, Sydney Opera House, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, Berlin Konzerthaus, Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, Florence’s Teatro Verdi, Lucerne Culture and Convention Centre, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Singapore’s Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay, the Tonhalle Zürich, Geneva Victoria Hall, London’s Cadogan Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall, among other world-famous venues. In 2006, the GSO was invited to perform in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. The orchestra has appeared more than 20 times at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Macao Arts Festival and Macao International Music Festival. In October 2012, the GSO made its Taiwan debut during the Guangdong City Cultural Week at the Cross-Strait City Arts Festival, with concerts in Taipei’s Theater and Concert Hall and the Taichung Chung Hsing Hall. In September 2014, on the occasion of the NSW-Guangdong Sister-State 35th Anniversary, the GSO performed two concerts in Sydney’s City Recital Hall, Angel Place, and Canberra’s Llewellyn Hall. In January 2015, invited by Migros Kulturprozent Classics, the GSO made its fifth tour to Europe and performed in Zurich, Geneva, Bern and St. Gallen. In 2017, the GSO made its sixth European tour, visiting London, Manchester and Birmingham on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United Kingdom, making headlines in The Guardian as a “highly accomplished band.” The orchestra not only fulfills its role as cultural ambassador to third countries, but also promotes meaningful exchanges within the Pearl River Delta region and across the Straits.


The world-renowned artist and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun has made an indelible mark on the world's music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. Tan Dun is Dean of the Bard College Conservatory of Music. He has won a great number of prestigious honors, including the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award, Bach Prize, Shostakovich Award, and most recently, Italy’s Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement. Tan Dun's music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, opera houses, international festivals, and on radio and television. This past year, Tan Dun conducted the grand opening celebration of Disneyland Shanghai which was broadcast to a record-breaking audience worldwide.


As a conductor of innovative programs around the world, Tan Dun has led the China tours of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra. His current season includes leading the NDR Radiophilharmonie in a five-city tour in Germany, as well as engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra and at the Venice Biennale. Tan Dun currently serves as the Honorary Artistic Director of the China National Symphony Orchestra. Next season, he will also conduct Orchestre National de Lyon in their tour to China. Tan Dun has led the world's most esteemed orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Münchner Philharmoniker, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Tan Dun’s individual voice has been heard widely by international audience. His first Internet Symphony, which was commissioned by Google/YouTube, has reached over 23 million viewers online. His Organic Music Trilogy of Water, Paper and Ceramic has frequented major concert halls and festivals. Paper Concerto was premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the opening of the Walt Disney Hall. His multimedia work, The Map, premiered by YoYo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has toured more than 30 countries. Its manuscript has been collected by the Carnegie Hall Composers Gallery. His Orchestral Theatre IV: The Gate was premiered by Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra and crosses the cultural boundaries of Peking Opera, Western Opera and puppet theatre traditions. Other important premieres include Four Secret Roads of Marco Polo for the Berlin Philharmonic, Piano Concerto “The Fire” for Lang Lang and the New York Philharmonic. In recent seasons, his percussion concerto, The Tears of Nature, for soloist Martin Grubinger premiered in 2012 with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women Symphony for 13 Microfilms, Harp and Orchestra was co-commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.
As a visual artist, Tan Dun’s work featured the opening of the China Pavilion at the 56th Venice Art Biennale. Other solo exhibitions include the New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Beijing’s Chambers Fine Art Gallery, and Shanghai Gallery of Art. Most recently, Tan Dun conducted The Juilliard Orchestra in the world premiere of his Symphony of Colors: Terracotta for the opening of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s epic exhibition The Age of Empires.
As a global cultural leader, Tan Dun uses his creativity to raise awareness of environmental issues and to protect cultural diversity. In 2010, as “Cultural Ambassador to the World” for the World EXPO Shanghai, Tan Dun envisioned, curated and composed two special site-specific performances that are staged year-round and that have since become cultural symbols of Shanghai: Peony Pavilion, a Chinese opera set in a Ming Dynasty garden and his Water Heavens string quartet which promotes water conservation and environmental awareness. Tan Dun was also commissioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to write the Logo Music and Award Ceremony Music for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Tan Dun currently serves as Honorary Chair of Carnegie Hall’s China Advisory Council, and has previously served as Creative Chair of the 2014 Philadelphia Orchestra China Tour, Associate Composer/Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony, and Artistic Director of the Festival Water Crossing Fire held at the Barbican Centre.
Tan Dun records for Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Opus Arte and Naxos. His recordings have garnered many accolades, including a Grammy Award (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and nomination (The First Emperor; Marco Polo; Pipa Concerto), Japan’s Recording Academy Awards for Best Contemporary Music CD (Water Passion after St. Matthew) and the BBC’s Best Orchestral Album (Death and Fire). Tan Dun’s music is published by G. Schirmer, Inc and represented worldwide by the Music Sales Group of Classical Companies.


Pianist Ralph van Raat was admitted to the "Outstanding Musician Reserve" course with excellent results. Under the help of the Prins Bernhard Cultural Foundation in the Netherlands, he studied under Claude Helffer, music masters such as Ursula Oppens, Liisa Pohjola, and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Van Raat has won several international music awards, including the Donemus-Prize Contemporary Music Award, the Philip Morris Art Award, the International Borletti-Buitoni Scholarship, the VSCD Classical Music Award and the Dutch Radio and Television Classical Music Award.


Lian Wenqing, the youngest disciple of the famous Peking Opera master Mei Baojiu. Her performances have spread all over the world, and she has toured Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, the United States and Europe many times. When she visited the show in the United States in 2017, she was praised by local media: "Through the performance of Lian Wenqing, the audience seem to have experienced the stunning classical beauty of hundreds of years ago."


Liu Wenwen is one of the most promising Suona players in China and a 13th generation inheritor of the Suona instrument tradition. Liu has been given many significant awards at home and abroad. Representing a new generation of Suona performers, Liu inherited the tradition of the ancient Chinese instrument and added her own modern interpretation. In 2010, she toured eleven countries with the Shanghai Culture Bureau including Australia and New Zealand, among others. That same year, she was invited to perform in the May Music Festival at the National Center of the Performing Arts. She performed in more than ten events during the Shanghai Expo 2010. Liu was invited by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra to perform the widely acclaimed "100 Birds Flying Towards the Phoenix" Suona Concerto under the baton of conductor/composer Tan Dun. She also performed with Maestro Tan Dun at this year's Shanghai Spring International Music Festival.