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Monthly focus: Music in Asia

© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
We interview...

Meeting in Harmony: Suntory Hall

Main Hall © Suntory Hall
The spirit of Herbert von Karajan lives on in Tokyo's Suntory Hall, built in the quest for “the world's most beautiful sound”. In the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the hall is aiming to appeal to an increasingly global audience.
We interview...

Paavo Järvi: Musical ambassador

Paavo Järvi © Kaupo Kikkas
Where is home for Paavi Järvi? The life of an international conductor consists of airports and hotel-hopping and Järvi’s passport is more well-travelled than most. 
Postcard from Tokyo

Art and classical music in Tokyo

Suntory Hall © David Karlin
Tokyo's array of culture is so extensive and diverse that it can bewilder a first time visitor. Here's our guide to how to start enjoying one of the world's great artistic cities.
We interview

Playing cello through the Cultural Revolution

Gao Xuewen in 1978 at Shanghai Conservatory © Gao Xuewen
I entered the Shanghai Conservatoire after the Cultural Revolution, towards 1978. When I arrived in Belgium, I was 23 years old and I didn't speak a word of French.
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We preview

Preview: HK Arts Festival 2017

Dream of the Red Chamber (San Francisco Opera) © Cory Weaver | San Francisco Opera
The 2017 Hong Kong Arts Festival features specialists in a wide variety of forms and a sampling of the eclectic: music from Monteverdi to Gainsbourg and African kora, dance from classical to Pina Bausch, opera from Janáček.
We preview...

Brett Dean and Beethoven rub shoulders in Hong Kong

Brett Dean © Pawel Kopczynski
Australian composer Brett Dean’s compositions appear in the 8th Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival next January, where he is composer-in-residence.
We interview

Forging a Ring and new audiences in Hong Kong

Jaap van Zweden © Hans van der Woerd
Raff Wilson, Director of Artistic Planning of the Hong Kong Philharmonic offers valuable insights into his planning process ahead of the orchestra’s 2016-17 season.
LOCAL PERSPECTIVES AROUND ASIA
Postcard from Beijing

China: A Glance at the Beijing Arts Scene

Rebecca, a performer with Pojie Arts © Yan Lei (Handicap International)
Reviewer Catherine Sutherland is living and working in Beijing and here she gives her picks of the venues offering everything from stand-up comedy to Chinese Opera. 

Japan: Q & A with Aimi Kobayashi & Atsushi Ishikawa

Aimi Kobayashi © Akira Muto
To get a little understanding about Japan and its relationship with western classical music we spoke to Aimi Kobayashi (pianist) and (Atsushi Ishikawa) musicologist.

China: Q & A with cellist Jingzhuo Zhang

Jingzhuo Zhang
We interview Jingzhuo Zhang, a young cellist now studying at RAM but who grew up in China.

Korea: Q & A with Yoon-Jee Kim

We speak to Yoon-Jee Kim about growing up in Seoul and she explains in fascinating detail the differences between growing up here and in the US.
Elim Chan © Lau Kwok Kei
Competition tips

Competition tips: Elim Chan

We continue our competition tips series with Elim Chan, winner of the Donatella Flick Competition in 2014.
Seong-Jin Cho © Fryderyk Chopin Institute | Bartek Sadowski
Competition tips

Competition tips: Seong-Jin Cho

We continue our competition tips series with Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition 2015.
Upcoming eventsSee more...

TokyoStravinsky programme

Stravinsky
NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo; Paavo Järvi

TokyoFidelioNew Production

Michael Kupfer-Radecky (Don Pizarro), Ricarda Merbeth (Leonore) and Stephen Gould (Florestan) © Masahiko Terashi | New National Theatre, Tokyo
Beethoven: Fidelio
Taijiro Iimori; Katharina Wagner; New National Theatre; Marc Löhrer; Thomas Kaiser; Stephen Gould; Hiroshi Kuroda

Hong KongFrançois-Frédéric Guy Plays Beethoven

François-Frédéric Guy Plays Beethoven
Macé, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven
Hong Kong Sinfonietta; Gábor Káli; François-Frédéric Guy

Hong KongAshkenazy's Pastoral

Glazunov, Beethoven
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; Vladimir Ashkenazy; Esther Yoo

Nishinomiya106th Subscription Concert

106th Subscription Concert
Zandonai, Mozart, Brahms
Hyogo Performing Arts Centre Orchestra; Hubert Soudant; Karl-Heinz Schütz

TokyoSubscription Concert Series No.660

Subscription Concert Series No.660
Henze, Zimmermann
Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; Norichika Iimori; Yuko Kakuta; Christian Miedl
Latest reviewsSee more...

Cynicism reigns in Katharina Wagner’s Fidelio in Tokyo

Michael Kupfer-Radecky (Don Pizarro), Ricarda Merbeth (Leonore) and Stephen Gould (Florestan) © Masahiko Terashi | New National Theatre, Tokyo
The most talked about new production in the New National Theatre Tokyo’s 20th anniversary season undercuts Beethoven’s idealism.
****1
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Fantastic evening of “Scottish Fantasy” with the Hong Kong Phil

Long Yu © Askonas Holt
Scotch snap aplenty in evening of “Scottish Fantasy” with Hong Kong Philharmonic. 
****1
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Luminous performances lift heavy-metal Pelléas

Jurgita Adamonytė (Mélisande) and Jacques Imbrailo (Pelléas) © Clive Barda
Stellar voices and orcheatra and some inspired staging choices elevate an otherwise heavy-handed production of Pelléas et Mélisande from the WNO at the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
****1
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Martin Hansen rewrites dance history

if it's all in my veins, conceived and directed by Martin Hansen © Gregory Lorenzutti for Dancehouse
Australian choreographer Martin Hansen riffs on GIFs and tweaks the dance world's obsession with lineage, creating a ritual of nostalgia that is both melancholy and exhilarating. 
****1
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Saburo Teshigawara takes on Wagner

© Ahikito Abe
Saburo Teshigawara's condensed reading of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde plays down notions of an adulterous union, a lovers' pact and spiritual journey, instead delivering a powerful image of female resilience.
*****
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FLA.CO.MEN wins rapturous reception in HK

© Hugo Gumiel
Israel Galván breaks a lot of sacred eggs at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. A few serendipitous moments add to the fierce beauty of this defiant, narrative-free meditation on a life in flamenco. 
***11
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WELL KNOWN ASIAN PERFORMERS - click on the photos for reviews and events!