The New York Philharmonic in collaboration with CAMI Music will celebrate the Chinese New Year for the second consecutive year with a Gala concert exploring the contrasts and connections between Chinese and Western music, Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. A new tradition for the Philharmonic, the event celebrates the cultural heritage of China and America and honors the Chinese-American community. Long Yu - artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic, music director of the Shanghai and Guanzhou Symphony Orchestras, artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival, and a key figure in the creation of the Philharmonic's Orchestral Academy and performance residencies in Shanghai - will return to the Philharmonic to conduct the concert. The New York Philharmonic's Chinese New Year festivities will be broadcast in the New York area on THIRTEEN/WNET and nationwide in China on Beijing Television (BTV), as well as Webcast for free by medici.tv (www.medici.TV) beginning February 16, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. EST for 90 days.
Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist Herbie Hancock will make his Philharmonic debut performing contemporary Chinese composer Qigang Chen's Er Huang, for Piano and Orchestra. Soprano and Peking Opera star Yan Wang (also in her Philharmonic debut) will sing the Peking Opera classic The Drunken Concubine in makeup and costume. The Snow Lotus Trio, a folk ensemble from the mountains of China (also making its debut), will appear in national costume, joining forces with the New York Philharmonic to showcase Chinese folk-music traditions. The program will also juxtapose two settings of the same Tang Dynasty poems by Li Bai and Wang Wei: "Der Einsame im Herbst," from Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, and the U.S. Premiere of contemporary Chinese composer Ye Xiaogang's The Song of the Earth, inspired by Mahler's song cycle. Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano will perform "Der Einsame im Herbst," soprano Ying Huang (debut) will sing The Song of the Earth, and Hsin-Mei Agnes Hsu (debut) will recite selected readings of the poems that inspired both works, including the English translation of "Long Autumn Night." The Spring Festival Overture, a traditional work celebrating the Chinese New Year, will once again open the concert, ringing in the Lunar New Year.