Chamber Music @ SZSO


Chamber music is the foundation of symphonic music.  With its Chamber Music @ SZSO series the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra aims to inspire and illuminate the citizens of Suzhou by showing that very foundation.

In its inaugural season, the musicians of the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra brought to audience for the first time, the idea that music can be so intimate, approachable, and entertaining. They crafted programs that told stories, showcased virtuosity, piqued curiosity, and enlightened minds.

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"Wintertime"

2017.11.12 (SUN)

Jinji Lake Concert Hall, SSCAC 2nd Floor

For the inaugural concert of the chamber music series, SZSO musicians pulled out all the stops in a concert that has French impressionism meet the "original" classical rap. The program, divided into two portions, began with a sensuous fare of Maurice Ravel's ravishing instrumentation and exotic tonalities. The harp becomes a protagonist in this mélange of sensuality and ingenuity, interacting first with a sultry clarinet in the guise of a habanera, then reinventing the piano sonatina in an arrangement for harp, flute and cello. In the second portion, the percussionists unraveled their complicated program as a geography lesson. Their journey of beats and rhythms started in their imaginary Africa and ended with the tango of Argentina. In the course of this "head trip", the percussionists "staged" a "fugue" executed completely by "speaking" – in what is known to be the first example of "rap music".

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RAVEL Vocalise-étude en forme de Habanera

    Tomoyo Kobayashi, clarinet

    Jessica Fotinos, harp

RAVEL Sonatine en trio for flute, cello and harp, arr. Carlos Salzedo

    Elisabet Franch Moncunill, flute

    Dmitry Silvian, violoncello

    Jessica Fotinos, harp

RAVEL Introduction et Allegro pour harpe avec quatuor à cordes, flûte et clarinette

    Elisabet Franch, flute

    Tomoyo Kobayashi, clarinet

    Jessica Fotinos, harp

    Nikita Olivenich, violin

    Jiaxing Li, violin

    Joyce Huang, viola

    Dmitry Silvian, violoncello

CIRONE    4/4 for Four

    Gabriele Bartezzati, percussion

    Jorge Renes López, percussion

    Gerasimos Tsagkarakis, percussion

    Georgi Videnov, percussion

TOCH    Geographical Fugue, for speaking chorus, from Gesprochene Musik

    Gabriele Bartezzati, percussion

    Jorge Renes López, percussion

    Gerasimos Tsagkarakis, percussion

PIAZZOLLA    L' Histoire du Tango

    Joanna Wu, flute

    Georgi Videnov, percussion

Chamber Music @ SZSO 2017_Wintertime.mp4




“Rendez-vous with France”

2017.12.14-12.15

Jinji Lake Concert Hall, SSCAC 2nd Floor

SZSO Executive Director Katherine Chu, in an entertaining format of Q and A with the audience, introduced the Jinji Lake Concert Hall, explaining the science behind its "surround-style" design and the meticulously tested acoustics hidden in the decorative elements of traditional Suzhou.

Following a brief "spiel" on the origins of chamber music, the real “rendez-vous” began as the musicians use various ensemble combinations to illustrate a pedigree line of composers: Saint-Saens, Debussy, Ibert, Takemitsu and Conyngham. They are united by one unequivocally stylish musical baptism: the French Musical School.

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SAINT-SAËNS    Fantasie for Violin and Harp, Op. 124

    Pantxoa Urtizberea, flute

    Jessica Fotinos, harp

IBERT    Entr'acte, for Flute and Harp

    Pantxoa Urtizberea, flute

    Jessica Fotinos, harp

TAKEMITSU         Toward the Sea

    Joanna Wu, alto flute

    Georgi Videnov, marimba

CONYNGHAM       Streams, for Flute, Viola and Harp

    Joanna Wu, flute

    Mengwen Zhao, viola

    Jessica Fotinos, harp

DEBUSSY           Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp

                            I. Pastorale

                            II. Interlude

                            III. Finale

    Joanna Wu, flute

    Mengwen Zhao, viola

    Jessica Fotinos, harp

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“My First Xmas at SZSO”

What's Christmas without carols? What's Christmas carol without the brass quintet?

On a not very cold December night in Suzhou, the brass players of the SZSO went carolling with perennial favorites that recount the Christmas tale as told by different countries and cultures. True to the holiday spirit, the percussionists decked the hall (the Jinji Lake Concert Hall), not with boughs of holly, but with "avant-garde". On a dimly lit stage, they performed John Cage's "Living Room Music", using everyday household objects. To add theatricality to the scene, the percussionists brought in surprise guests like Santa, goblin and the angelic stage manager who created such spontaneous on-stage drama that could never be found in any other Christmas story.

Responding to the enormous popular demand and interest, the SZSO has planned a series of 10 concerts that promise to open the eyes, perk up the ears, and put a smile on faces!

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COPLAND          Fanfare for the Common Man, for Brass & Percussion

CAGE                  Living Room Music

ZIVKOVIC           Trio per uno

    Juan Pablo Muñoz, trumpet

    Jingyuan Wang, trumpet

    Antoine Tacquenier, trombone

    Jamal Boukhnouch, tuba

    James Chen, horn

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BEYOND THE STAGE