Japan’s 2012 New Year’s Eve concert featuring Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 will be conducted by Kenneth Hsieh, a Canadian conductor of Taiwanese descent, for the first time in Tokyo on Friday. Two years ago, Japanese conductor Yutaka Sado, who has conducted the year-end concert for 18 consecutive years, made Hsieh his successor of choice. This year Hsieh is finally picking up the baton to conduct the year’s most important concert in Japan. The news is exciting for his fans both in Taiwan and Canada, and some of them have even booked tickets to fly to Japan to attend his concerts.
In addition to the concert with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan on Friday, Hsieh will also conduct the Japan Century Orchestra in a second concert, which will be broadcast live on television, at the Osaka Symphony Hall in Osaka next Wednesday.
According to Hsieh, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 lasts about 70 minutes without intermission, making it more challenging than other symphonies. Hsieh said he has been concentrating mostly on how to coordinate the solo vocalists’ parts and the symphony parts in the final movement and how to bring the whole piece to its climax as the entire chorus joins in.
In an interview, Hsieh mentioned the global impact of the European sovereign debt crisis, in particular on Europe’s classical music market. He said the European debt crisis has affected his previously scheduled concert plans in Italy. He also expressed concerns about how the crisis might influence the mood of classical music enthusiasts as they attend concerts.
Next year Hsieh’s performances will primarily be based in Japan and Vancouver, Canada. Apart from having confirmed that he is conducting both the 2012 and 2013 New Year’s Eve concerts in Japan, he will also give at least three performances with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, which he established, as the orchestra enters its 10th year.
(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY LIN YA-TI)
1. descent n.
血統 (xie2 tong3)
例: He’s of European descent. I think his great-grandparents came from Italy.
2. challenging adj.
具挑戰性的 (ju4 tiao3 zhan4 xing4 de)
例: Running a marathon is a bit more challenging than walking down to the corner shop and back.
3. primarily adv.
主要地 (zhu3 yao4 de5)
例: He’s primarily a great hockey player, although he’s also a good football player.