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Spring Season – the musical journey of a lifetime

Media Release
for immediate release
20 October 2005

Spring Season – the musical journey of a lifetime

“Li's playing throughout was like a furious series of clockwork gears, faultlessly churning passage after passage of unstoppable momentum. Not that this was just all technique – his enunciation of melodic lines are nuanced like a human voice. In other words – dare I say it? – like those of Heifetz and Oistrakh.” [Chia Han-Leon, The Straits Times]

November brings with it the Auckland Philharmonia’s annual Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Spring Season in association with SkyCity Auckland Community Trust. Over three consecutive Friday night concerts in November, the Auckland Town Hall will be ringing with the sounds of musical adventure.

The opening concert, on 11 November, explores the colour and exoticism of the legendary “Silk Road”. Conductor Marc Taddei leads the orchestra on a journey that takes in Beethoven’s Turkish March (The Ruins of Athens); Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia; Chen/He’s Butterfly Lovers Concerto; Griffes’ The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan; Hua Yan Jun’s Reflection of the Moonlight in the Erquan Spring; and Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin Suite.

The soloist for the “Silk Road” is one of world’s leading young musicians, Chinese violinist Li Chuanyun. In 1991, the 11 year old Li won the fifth Wieniawski International Youth Violin Competition, making him the youngest person ever to win the first prize in his group. Aged 13, Li performed the complete Paganini 24 Caprices, a two hour solo recital at Hong Kong City Hall, and received outstanding acclaim. In 1996 Li was awarded a full scholarship to attend Juilliard Pre-College Division where he studied with Dorothy Delay, Itzhak Perlman and Hyo Kang. In 1998 Li won the F. Nakamichi Violin Concerto Competition at Aspen. Li studied under Dorothy Delay and Kurt Sassmannshaus at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music in 1999 and 2000, and the Clarisse B. Kampel Foundation is currently supporting Li’s studies with Joey Corpus in New York City. Li Chuanyun performs on a G.B. Guadagnini of Turin, Italy, c.1784 on extended loan from the Stradivari Society.

Li Chuanyun, who is making his Southern Hemisphere concert première, appears with the Auckland Philharmonia courtesy of the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China’s “Oriental Express” project – a cultural exchange project with an emphasis on promoting Chinese culture in the American and Oceanic regions. In the area of music, the aim is to introduce Chinese compositions (such as the famous Butterfly Lovers Concerto) to the international stage via China’s finest musicians.

The Auckland Philharmonia’s “Silk Road” concert with Li Chuanyun is the world première concert in the Oriental Express project. To begin the “Silk Road” concert, a “Dot the Eyes of the Lion” celebratory dance will take place. This is a Chinese tradition and is a good luck gesture at the beginning of an event.

- The second Spring Season concert, “Nordic Night”, on 18 November, features the flavours of Scandinavia with conductor Misha Santora and pianist Piers Lane.

- The final Spring Season concert, “Jubilee Jewels”, on 25 November, celebrates the Auckland Philharmonia’s 25th anniversary with conductor Misha Santora and violinist Eugene Fodor.

Spring Season: “Silk Road” – Friday 11 November – 8pm, Auckland Town Hall
Adult tickets: $35 to $87; concessions available (service fees may apply). Bookings phone the Ticketek Orchestra Hotline on (09) 307 5139 or visit

The Spring Season is sponsored by Minter Ellison Rudd Watts in association with SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust. Li Chuanyun appears courtesy of the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China’s “Oriental Express” project.

The Auckland Philharmonia receives major funding from Creative New Zealand and major grants from Auckland City and the ASB Charitable Trust.


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