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'East/West: A Symphonic Celebration’ Comes To Auckland And Wellington This September

Image China presents the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington alongside a star-studded line-up of New Zealand and New Zealand-based Chinese soloists.

The performances, scheduled for Sept 1 & 2 in the Auckland Town Hall and on the 19 & 20 in Wellington’s Opera House, will treat audiences to an evocative tour through classical symphonic repertoire by both New Zealand and internationally renowned Chinese composers.

East/West: A Symphonic Celebration is part of Image China, a global initiative by China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd. (CAEG). This cultural exchange programme has been designed to introduce traditional and contemporary Chinese performing arts to audiences around the world and since its inception in 2009, Image China has visited prestigious venues such as New York’s Lincoln Centre, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C, and across the major performance venues of Europe, Australia and New Zealand. These upcoming Image China performances in Auckland and Wellington will offer New Zealand audiences a unique opportunity to be part of this cultural collaboration.

East/West: A Symphonic Celebration features an exciting line-up of repertoire and soloists. Of particular note will be Programme Director of Classical Performance and Head of Piano Studies at the New Zealand School of Music Dr Jian Liu who will perform the acclaimed piano concerto The Yellow River. Also joining the orchestras on stage will be Joanna Foote (soprano - WLG), Christina Ellison (soprano – AKL), and Bo Jiang (tenor).

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Maestro Brent Stewart will conduct Orchestra Wellington’s performances and NZ Assistant Conductor-in-Residence, Leonard Weiss will take the podium with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.


In honour of this East/ West collaboration, masterpieces from both China and New Zealand will be performed.

Opening the programme is The Torch Festival by Xilin Wang, conjuring images of a traditional Yunnan province festival. Auckland audiences can look forward to Douglas Lilburn’s Aotearoa Overture and in Wellington, patrons will be treated to Lilburn’s Drysdale Overture. Chinese Sights and Sounds a work by YuankaiBao, a well-known Chinese composer and music educator will conclude the first half of the programme.

The concert’s second half begins with Gift by Grammy-nominated Chinese-American composer Tian Zhou, followed by traditional Māori waiata Pokarekare Ana and then The Song of Yangtze River by Shiguang Wang. The concert will conclude with the celebrated piano concerto The Yellow River, performed by pianist Dr Jian Liu.

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