BBC National Orchestra of Wales to tour China with Principal Guest Conductor Xian Zhang

Xian Zhang; BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Hoddinott Hall 

In a bid to foster creative collaborations between China and Wales, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales has today announced a tour of China from 15 to 21 December 2018, which will see the orchestra present five concerts in four major cities with Chinese Principal Guest Conductor Xian Zhang.

Beginning with two concerts at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, BBC NOW will then travel to the Changsha Concert Hall, Changsha, Qintai Concert Hall, Wuhan and, finally, Shenzhen Concert Hall, Shenzhen, performing two programmes.

This visit marks the first time Zhang has toured her home country with a European symphony orchestra.


BBC NOW @ 90 (credit BBC)


For the Beijing (15 Dec), Changsha (18 Dec) and Wuhan (19 Dec) concerts, the orchestra will be joined by Chinese harpist Shimeng Sun, and BBC NOW’s Principal Flute Matthew Featherstone, for Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto, performed alongside Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri Overture and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8.

 For the second concert in Beijing (16 Dec) the orchestra welcomes another Chinese guest soloist, cellist Jiapeng Nie, to perform Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, in a programme with Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture & Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5.

The final concert of the tour in Shenzhen (21 Dec) will see BBC NOW perform alongside musicians from the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. This first time collaboration between the two orchestras will provide a special opportunity for cultural exchange between musicians, and build creative links for future collaborative activity in China.


BBC NOW @ Cheltenham Music Festival (credit Spencer McPherson)


Xian Zhang says:

“It is with much pleasure that I am coming to China with BBC NOW.  I conduct a number of the Chinese orchestras on a regular basis, but this is the first time I have toured China with a European Orchestra.  I am very much looking forward to introducing the musicians of BBC NOW to my own country, and I think that the cultural co-operation with my musicians and the musicians in Shenzhen will be extremely interesting for us all”.


The tour is supported by British Council in China, Wales Arts International and the Arts Council of Wales


Performance Dates:

15 December – National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing

16 December – National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing

18 December – Changsha Concert Hall, Changsha

19 December – Qintai Concert Hall, Wuhan

21 December – Shenzhen Concert Hall, Shenzhen

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