New York Philharmonic conducts Year of Dog concert to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-21 14:58:12|Editor: Xiang Bo
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NEW YORK, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The New York Philharmonic staged its annual concert honoring Chinese Lunar New Year at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, featuring table tennis champions, violin, percussion, as well as Chinese folk songs.

The philharmonic's annual celebration was led by Chinese conductor Long Yu at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the David Geffen Hall.

Tuesday's program featured American classical music composer Andy Akiho's Ricochet, Concerto for Ping Pong, Violin, Percussion, and Orchestra. The soloists include violinist Elizabeth Zeltser, ping pong players Ariel Hsing and Michael Landers, the youngest-ever U.S. Women's Singles Champion and U.S. Men's Singles Champion respectively, and percussionist David Cossin.

"I thought the performance was terrific," Amy Melman among the audience told Xinhua after the concert. "When they were doing the actual performance, the timing of the percussion, with the actual rhythm of playing was unbelievable. And I said to my friend, this is like the Olympics."

The program also included Spring Festival Overture, a cheerful Chinese orchestral work composed by Li Huanzhi in 1950s, Beethoven's grand Choral Fantasy, performed by 13-year-old pianist Serena Wang, as well as the Farmers' Choir of the Yunnan Province. The farmers are from the mountains of southern China, and appeared outside China for the first time.

Susan, another member of the audience, shared her excitement with Xinhua after the concert: "The violin was incredible. It was all like so new ... They kept mesmerizing everyone. The audience was so quiet, focusing on what's coming next."

The New York Philharmonic, which has welcomed the Lunar New Year with an annual celebration since 2012, partnered with the China Central Academy of Fine Arts for 2018 Happy Chinese New Year: Fantastic Art China, a series of U.S.-China artistic Chinese New Year celebrations in New York City, including fireworks over the Hudson River and a festive lighting of the Empire State Building.

Ping pong, or table tennis, played a significant role in the history of China-U.S. diplomatic ties. The exchange of ping pong players between U.S. and China in the early 1970s marked a thaw in the bilateral relations of the two countries, and paved the way for Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing.