January 17, 2010

Yum-cha concerts in Sydney's Chinese Gardens of Friendship, 4-6 Feb

For the first time outside China, Xing Lu, master of erhu, China’s most popular classical instrument (said to produce the closet sound to the human voice) heads the star line-up for the 2010 Chinese Garden Chamber Music Festival on February 4 -6.

Following the critical acclaim of John Huie’s inaugural Chinese Gardens Chamber Music Festival in 2009, the Australian composer and festival director returns to direct his second festival in one of Australia’s most beautiful music venues, the Chinese Garden of Friendship, located in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

Fast being recognised as an ambassador for China’s rich diversity in music heritage, Huie has taken a fresh approach to this year’s Festival, with two different programs each day. There will be a matinee Yum Cha concert, plus an evening concert, also with Chinese food served at interval.

“The aim of the festival is to bring Australian and Chinese audiences and artists closer together through a greater understanding and appreciation of beauty, complexity and variation of culture across the regions of China,” said John Huie.

The festival offers a special insight into Chinese heritage and culture through music and food.  

Held in the sheltered Hall of Longevity located within Sydney’s walled Chinese Gardens in Darling Harbour, the Yum cha concerts begin at 11.30am and the evening concerts at 7.00pm. Before the evening concert there will be a thought-provoking pre-show talk from 6.30pm. An authentic Chinese meal will be served at interval in the evening.

Joining the erhu master Xing Lu at the festival will be two more of China’s most highly celebrated musicians: Tong Ying, master of the pipa, and guqin player, Jin Wei. They will be joined by leading Australian chamber music artists cellist Patrick Murphy, percussionist Claire Edwardes and resident Conservatorium quartet, the Orava.

Xing Lu (playing erhu), Patrick Murphy (playing cello) and John Huie (playing guitar) will combine to perform Huie’s new work “Planet Earth”. Percussionist Claire Edwardes will play contemporary Chinese chamber music works and the Orava String Quartet will illustrate commonalities between European and Chinese music. In addition, Bach inventions 6 and 9 have been arranged for cello (Patrick Murphy) and erhu (Xing Lu).  The total repertoire will result in an electric program that combines and contrasts Chinese, Australian and European works, both ancient and modern.

Concert tickets are $85 each. Seating is limited to 147 seats per concert and bookings can be made through the Musica Viva box office on 1800 688 482.

See footage at www.johnhuiemusic.com

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