Houston Symphony presents Celebrate Asia
Mongolian violinist Angelo Xiang Yu joins the Houston Symphony to revel in the vibrant musical traditions of Houston’s Asian communities for Celebrate Asia
Led by Taiwanese-American guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen, the hourlong concert features east Asian folk songs interwoven with popular Western classical music. Select works on the program include Bèo Dạt Mây Trôi, a lush orchestration of a traditional Vietnamese song arranged for orchestra by leading Vietnamese cellist Ngo Hoang Quan; Yuzo Toyama’s Rhapsody for Orchestra, a folk-music travelogue of Japan; and a set of variations on “Arirang,” a folk song often referred to as Korea’s unofficial national anthem.
Known for his technical command and musicality, Yu will be featured in Ravel’s gypsy-inspired Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra and an excerpt from The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, one of the most famous modern Chinese orchestral pieces. Yu is the 2010 winner of the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition and was the youngest prize winner ever at the Wieniawski International Violin Competition in 2006.
The program concludes with Chen leading the audience in a sing-a-long version of Gong Xi Gong Xi, a popular mandarin song that celebrates the arrival of spring and whose title is a common Lunar New Year greeting.