Fri, Mar 07, 2003 - Page 17 News List

A feast of classical talent to play Taiwan

The triennial International Music Festival, now in its third season, is set to bring some of the top names in classical music to both grand and small-scale venues around the nation

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

One of the country's biggest classical music events, Taiwan's International Music Festival brings a host of the world's best performers to Taiwan.

PHOTO: MNA

Violinist Lin Cho-liang (林昭亮) will once again be taking his place in the director's chair in the coming weeks, when the hugely popular graduate of The Juilliard School puts down his fiddle in order to oversee the 3rd International Music Festival (IMF, 國際巨星音樂節), which begins next Friday.

First asked by then-president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to oversee the inaugural IMF in 1997, the task of ensuring the triennial event has an all-star line-up and brings some of the world's most talented classical performers to Taiwan has fallen on Lin's shoulders ever since.

One of the few international music festivals to hold performances on both national stages as well small regional ones, the IMF will this year be holding concerts at venues in Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Hsinchu and Miaoli. And as with previous years, several of the festival's concerts will be broadcasts live on television and radio.

The festival's truly nationwide outlook has meant that over the years it has generated substantial patronage and viewing figures, with nearly one million people nationwide attending or tuning in to the 2000 festival.

For this year's IMF, Lin has chosen a line-up that includes performers from all four corners of the globe. Joining Lin as solo violinist will be Gil Shaham, while Lynn Harrell will be teaming up with Jian Wang (王健) on cello. Pianists Barry Douglas and Helen Huang (黃海倫) will be tickling the ivories during the festival and the Guarnerri String Quartet, a New York-based multinational ensemble, International Sejong Soloists and Taiwan's very own Festival Orchestra (節慶管絃樂團) will be providing the backbone of the festival's concerts.

Taking to the podium to conduct the performers will be this year's special guest, Muhai Tang (湯沐海), conductor of the China Symphony Orchestra (中國交響樂團).

Given the talents of the many guests invited to participate in the festival, the event's programs promises to offer classical music buffs a genuine smorgasbord of sounds, as it has in years past.

Works by well known composers such as Beethoven, Handel, Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Grieg, Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi and Rachmaninov are all on the agenda during the week-long festival.

This year's festival kicks off next Friday with a concert entitled The Night of Chamber Music at the Hsinchu Performance Hall (新竹市立演藝廳) that will see the University of Maryland's quartet-in-residence, the Guarnerri String Quartet, with guest soloist Lin Cho-liang on violin and Lynn Harrell on cello. The concert will also be broadcast live by Hsinchu-based radio station, IC之音 FM97.5.

For your information:

Tickets for festival performances differ depending on the venue, but all are available at ERA ticketing outlets nationwide. For a full festival schedule, visit the Web site at http://www.mna.com.tw, or for further information call Management of New Arts (牛耳藝術) at (02) 2702-5131.

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