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Shanghai Quartet give Kiwi music students a hand

MEDIA RELEASE:
Shanghai Quartet give Kiwi music students a professional hand

For immediate release / 13 June 2005 / 200 words

There will be a rare opportunity to see the Shanghai Quartet working with some of New Zealand’s finest musicians when the quartet give masterclasses in Wellington this weekend.

The Shanghai Quartet tour five New Zealand centres this month and will also give masterclasses with students from the New Zealand School of Music at the Hunter Council Chamber at Victoria University of Wellington on Sunday 19 June at 6pm. Entry is open to members of the public for $10.

The quartet believes music education should be a major part of every touring group. “Each time we travel we hope to encounter eager students and teachers who we can work with and learn from”, says Shanghai Quartet cellist, Nick Tzavaras. “We are truly excited about working with music students from New Zealand and feel that our tour wouldn't be complete without these wonderful educational opportunities."

Described by international media as musicians who give "the kind of performance composers dream of", the Shanghai Quartet return to New Zealand after seven years, opening their tour in Napier on Friday 17 June. The quartet will present an 'East meets West' fusion of Chinese and Western music.

Chamber Music New Zealand acknowledges major funding from Creative New Zealand.

ends

SHANGHAI QUARTET IN CONCERT

Napier - Friday 17 June, Century Theatre
Wellington - Saturday 18 June, Wellington Town Hall
Dunedin - Monday 20 June, Glenroy Auditorium
Christchurch - Tuesday 21 June, James Hay Theatre
Auckland - Wednesday 22 June, Auckland Town Hall

All concerts at 8pm

ABOUT THE SHANGHAI QUARTET
Weigang Li, violin, Yi-Wen Jiang, violin, Honggang Li, viola & Nicholas Tzavaras, cello.

The Shanghai Quartet formed in China at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983 and are now based in the United States. The ensemble are known for their passionate musicality, brilliant technique, and multicultural innovation.

The quartet aim to present an elegant meld of Eastern music with Western repertoire, performed to the highest artistic standard. Their New Zealand concerts will be a fusion of ‘East meets West’ works, and will include Chinese melodies arranged by Yi-Wen’s his childhood memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976).

"Through music, Chinese people always seemed able to find, and express their own happiness, sorrow, love, hope and things to cherish. I grew up with many of these pieces, and played some of them as solo works for violin and piano during the difficult days of the Cultural Revolution. The melodies are so beautiful and quite moving", says Yi-Wen. "I tried to blend the simplicity of an eastern melody with the complex, lush sounds of the string quartet, with the intent that Chinese music can be thoroughly enjoyed and performed internationally.”

SHANGHAI QUARTET PROGRAMME

Programme 1 (Napier, Christchurch & Auckland)
SHOSTAKOVICH : String Quartet No 3 in F Opus 73
JIANG : Selections from ChinaSong
BRAHMS : String Quartet in A minor Opus 51 No 2

Programme 2 (Wellington & Dunedin)
BEETHOVEN : String Quartet in B flat Opus 18 No 6
JIANG : Selections from ChinaSong
BEETHOVEN : String Quartet in C sharp minor Opus 131

MEDIA QUOTES

"The whole performance was superb...providing glowing solos and the slow movement rising to poetic heights."
The New York Times

"The Shanghai has a warm, wonderfully full-bodied sound, and the particular musical personality of each of the players is allowed to be heard."
The Denver Post

"On just about every technical count - intonation, phrasing, instrumental balance, choice of tempo - the Shanghai's Beethoven was spot-on."
Richmond Times

===end of media information===


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