The National Symphony Orchestra hopes its upcoming concerts to launch the 2022-2023 season would bring back audience lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the orchestra’s music director Jun Markl said on Monday.
“One of the very important points is to regain the audiences we might have lost during the COVID crisis. This program I hope is a really good start,” Markl told a news conference in Taipei to promote the orchestra’s upcoming concerts featuring three Scotland-themed pieces.
The concerts to be held in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taitung over the next two weekends would begin with Marche ecossaise sur un theme populaire (Scottish March on a Popular Theme) by Claude Debussy.
Photo courtesy of the National Symphony Orchestra via CNA
Debussy wrote the piece as a piano duet before developing it into an orchestra piece, which has parts similar to dance music from central France, Markl said.
France would be one of the main themes for a second season, featuring composers Debussy and Maurice Ravel.
The orchestra would be joined by guest violinist Paul Huang (黃俊文) for a concerto titled Scottish Fantasy by German composer Max Bruch, Markl said.
The New York-based violinist described the concerto as “sounding like a funeral march at the beginning, but ending in a festive atmosphere.”
Huang said he feels that the piece reflects the current climate, when people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel after more than two years of the pandemic.
The violinist said he is looking forward to playing the piece with the orchestra’s principal harpist, Chieh Shuen (解暄).
The orchestra would play Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 (Scottish) for the second half of the concert, Markl said, with several works by the German composer to be played in the new season to mark the 175th anniversary of his death this year.
The concerts are to be held at the National Concert Hall in Taipei tomorrow, the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts on Saturday, and the Taitung Art and Culture Center on Sept. 25.
Huang also helped curate a series of chamber music concerts for the new season, some of which were pitched by members of the orchestra. Huang is to headline two of those concerts in January next year.
Markl said the orchestra would continue the “one-minute symphony project” he introduced last season to help cultivate composers in Taiwan.
About 12 one-minute pieces would be featured during the new season to offer young composers an opportunity to improve their skills by working with the orchestra, he said, adding that five of the 10 composers last season have been picked to present their new works.
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