2015 Lunar New Year San Francisco Symphony
THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY PRESENTS ITS ANNUAL LUNAR NEW YEAR CONCERT & CELEBRATION SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21 IN DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL
Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director of the Memphis Symphony and of the Chicago Sinfonietta, leads the San Francisco Symphony in a concert with soloist Su Chang on guzheng
Free Festival Reception with lion dancers, arts and crafts, and refreshments precedes concert
Elegant Imperial Dinner held after concert in City Hall
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 26, 2015 – The San Francisco Symphony celebrates the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Ram on Saturday, February 21 at its 15th Annual Lunar New Year Concert and Celebration in Davies Symphony Hall. The celebrations begin with a Festival Reception for all ticketholders at 2:00pm. The pre-concert festivities in the Davies Symphony Hall lobbies provide family-friendly entertainment and activities, including children’s arts and crafts, lion dancing, and Chinese calligraphy, as well as complimentary food, desserts, and tea bars. The 3:00pm concert celebrates the Lunar New Year and San Francisco’s unique cultural fabric by featuring a combination of traditional Asian music alongside orchestral works influenced by both Eastern and Western musical traditions.
The concert, led by guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen, opens with the popular Chinese Dragon Dance, and includes works by celebrated Asian composers including Li Huanzhi’s Spring Festival Overture, Bright Sheng’s Black Swan,Vivian Fung’s Pizzicato for String Quartet, traditional folk songs including the audience sing along, Gong Xi Gong Xi as well as selections from Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite. The concert highlights the talents of guzheng (Chinese zither) player Su Chang performing two movements of Identity—Zhongshan Zhuang, Concerto for Guzheng and Orchestra, co-written by Michael Gordon Shapiro and Victor Cheng.
The elegant Lunar New Year Imperial Dinner, inspired by the rich visual pageantry of traditional Chinese New Year celebrations, is at 5:00pm in City Hall’s Grand Rotunda. Dinner packages that include access to the Festival Reception, premiere concert seating, and the Imperial Dinner are sold separately. All proceeds benefit the Orchestra’s myriad community outreach and education programs, which provide music education to more than 75,000 Bay Area school children each year. The Lunar New Year Celebration is chaired by Iris Chan and is made possible through the generous support of Presenting Sponsor Dignity Health – St. Mary’s Medical Center, Vehicle Sponsor BMW, and Festival Reception Sponsor BlackBerry, with additional support from the San Francisco Arts Commission. The Imperial Dinner is catered by McCalls and is designed by Blueprint Studios.
About the Artists
Su Chang was a featured soloist in the 2011 YouTube Symphony concerts in Sydney, Australia, led by Michael Tilson Thomas. Previously in 2010, she performed with Japanese instrumentalist and composer Kitaro in San Francisco. She began to learn the guzheng, Chinese plucked zither, at the age of six and by age 12, was accepted to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with the highest score of the year. Recent concerts have taken her to the US, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau. Chang has participated in many international cultural exchange programs and performed with orchestras such as the Young Euro Classic Orchestra from Berlin, and the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. In addition, she has performed with orchestras in China such as the Tianjin Orchestra, the Hebei Symphony Orchestra, the China National Symphony Orchestra, the Beijing Symphony Orchestra and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra. Su Chang performs various styles of music and her performances have been broadcast widely in China. Currently, she is a member of the China Nationalities Orchestra Society, the chief guzheng player for the Central Conservatory of Music Orchestra for Youth, and a member of the “Gold Medal Team” of the Central Conservatory of Music.
Born in Taiwan, conductor Mei-Ann Chen has lived in the United States since 1989. She has been Music Director of the Memphis Symphony since 2010 and of the Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, as well as a sought-after guest conductor. Chen’s 2014-15 season includes concerts throughout the United States and in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Taiwan and includes debut performances with Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony, Canada’s Calgary Philharmonic, Brazil’s Orquestra Sinfônica de Minas Gerais, the Wintergreen Festival in Virginia, the Texas Music Festival in Houston, and concerts with Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. Performances of note include Germany’s Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe and Taiwan’s National Symphony Orchestra in November 2014, and the Netherlands Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw in February 2015. In addition to the 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras, Mei-Ann Chen’s skill on the podium and as an educator has been recognized with several honors, awards and posts. In 2005 she became the first woman to win Copenhagen’s esteemed Malko Competition. She served as Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony and Baltimore Symphony and for five years she led the Portland Youth Philharmonic in Oregon. During her five-year tenure with the orchestra, she led its sold-out debut in Carnegie Hall, received an ASCAP award for innovative programming, and developed new musicianship programs. She was the recipient of a Sunburst Award from Young Audiences for her contribution to music education. Chen conducted the SF Symphony’s Lunar New Year concert in 2013.
San Francisco Symphony 15th Annual Lunar New Year Concert & Celebration
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA
Saturday, February 21, 2014
2:00pm – Festival Reception
3:00pm – Lunar New Year Concert
5:00pm – Imperial Dinner (at City Hall; dinner packages are sold separately)
Mei-Ann Chen conductor
Su Chang guzheng
San Francisco Symphony
Program to include:
Traditional Chinese Dragon Dance
Li Huanzhi Spring Festival Overture
Bright Sheng Black Swan (after Brahms Intermezzo Opus 18, no. 2)
Cheng/Shapiro Identity—Zhongshan Zhuang,
Concerto for Guzheng and Orchestra
I. Allegro non troppo; III. Allegro
Ravel Mother Goose Suite
III. Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas
V. The Enchanted Garden
Vivian Fung Pizzicato
The Green Island Serenade
Chen Ge Xin Gong Xi Gong Xi (audience sing-along) arr. Kroll-Rosenbaum
The San Francisco Symphony celebrates the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Ram on Saturday, February 21 at its 15th Annual Lunar New Year Concert and Celebration in Davies Symphony Hall. Pre-concert festivities begin at 2:00pm in the Davies Symphony Hall lobbies, providing family-friendly entertainment and activities including children’s arts and crafts, lion dancing and Chinese calligraphy, complimentary food, desserts and tea bars. The 3:00pm concert celebrates the Lunar New Year and San Francisco’s unique cultural fabric with a combination of Eastern and Western musical styles. The elegant Imperial Dinner, inspired by the rich visual pageantry of traditional Chinese New Year celebrations, is at 5:00pm in City Hall. Dinner packages include access to the Festival Reception, premiere concert seating, and the Imperial Dinner. All proceeds benefit the Orchestra’s myriad community outreach and education programs, which provide music education to more than 75,000 Bay Area school children each year.
TICKETS: Tickets for the Lunar New Year concert and the pre-concert Festival Reception are $30-$74 and are available through sfsymphony.org, by phone at (415) 864-6000, or at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street.
Dinner packages that include access to the Festival Reception, premiere concert seating, and the Imperial Dinner in City Hall are $375-$1000 and are available on the SF Symphony website or by calling the SFS Volunteer Council at (415) 503-5500.