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Taiwan Philharmonic Will Kick Off its Season Next Month

The season kicks off on September 16 at the National Concert Hall with a Scottish-centric program.

Taiwan Philharmonic Will Kick Off its Season Next Month

For Taiwan Philharmonic's 2022-23 season, Music Director Jun Märkl cultivated programs focused on three main themes: natural scenery and geography, region (France), and composers (Felix Mendelssohn and Sergei Rachmaninoff). The season kicks off on September 16 at the National Concert Hall with a Scottish-centric program.

"During every visit, outside of the regular concert schedules, I always take the opportunity to travel around Taiwan in order to not only have multicultural experiences, but also to be mesmerized by the astonishing natural landscapes. And in my short visits, I try to get an idea of what people are thinking, how they understand nature as a resource for healing. I come more and more to the conclusion that this is one of the main driving points and main potentials of this island. Because Taiwan has these different views and this rich culture, everybody here is given space to develop in their own way. And as a result, there is a different, more exciting atmosphere and environment both in the arts world and beyond. This is very inspiring, and I think this makes Taiwan so strong. I also believe this is something very well done in this country because there is a lot of support even from the government to help and develop these different parts of society. Composers transform musical notes into marvelous auditory paintings. I truly hope to share the brilliant natural scenery in music with our audiences." said Taiwan Philharmonic Music Director Jun Märkl.

This 2022-23 season continues to explore the rich sounds of French music. Highlights of the season include a complete performance of Roméo et Juliette by Hector Berlioz and works of two titans of French music - Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Moreover, 2022 is the 175th anniversary of German composer Felix Mendelssohn's death, so the Taiwan Philharmonic also performs his most world-known concertos and symphonies.

In the previous season, Taiwan Philharmonic – also known as the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) at home – deeply embraced Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's classic works, and the ensemble continues in that vein with the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff - one of the most well-loved Russian composers. The Taiwan Philharmonic introduces a series of piano concertos by Rachmaninoff, leading the audience to explore his life as a musician through his compositions.

In regards to organizing the entire season, Jun Märkl said," Music is like sunlight, air, and water, which is indispensable to our daily lives. Through music, we can feel the power of nature, discover precious cultures in different regions, and hear life stories from every composer. I wholeheartedly hope that our careful curation of every single piece in our brand new season's programs can become unforgettably moving moments in our lives."

To introduce the audience to the new sounds of Taiwan, the orchestra also launches the "One-minute Symphony Project," providing a platform for talented young composers to transform notes on a page into flowing melodies performed by the Taiwan Philharmonic.

Additionally, after much praise and positive feedback for their previous 2018 U.S. tour, in 2023 the Taiwan Philharmonic tours overseas again for the first time since the pandemic began. The tour features violinist Paul Huang with the orchestra conducted by Jun Märkl. The program includes Taiwan Philharmonic-commissioned works by Taiwanese composer Ke-Chia Chen, who resides in the U.S., and multiple works reflecting the theme of the Taiwan Philharmonic's 2022-23 regular season. The orchestra looks forward to bringing the beautiful sound of Taiwan to international stages.

Virtuoso Music in Scotland, Taiwan Philharmonic's upcoming 2022-23 Season Opening Concert, led by Jun Märkl with solo violinist Paul Huang, will be presented to audiences at three venues across Taiwan: the National Concert Hall, Weiwuying National Kaohsiung Concert Hall, and Taitung Art and Culture Center on September 16 (19:30), 17 (19:30), and 25 (14:30), respectively.

Conducted by the orchestra's Music Director Jun Märkl, the evening opens with Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire by the pioneer of impressionism, Claude Debussy. The piece adapts Scottish folk music to illustrate the extraordinary natural scenery of the northern country. Next, the Taiwan Philharmonic and violinist Paul Huang present an exquisite interpretation of Max Bruch's wondrous and melancholic Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46, including the soul-stirring melody of the first movement, the lively second and third movements, and the virtuosic final movement. To close the concert, the Taiwan Philharmonic performs Felix Mendelssohn's nostalgic Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56, "Scottish." Even though the piece doesn't directly reference traditional Scottish folk songs, the audience can still experience the history of Scotland, the remembrance of Mary Queen of Scots, and the symphonic scenery through the music.

Music Director Jun Märkl said, "It is the 175th anniversary of the death of Felix Mendelssohn. Similar to Franz Schubert, he created countless magnificent works during his creative, yet tragically short 38-year life. We are looking forward to performing Mendelssohn's renowned "Scottish" Symphony, consisting of folk and dance tunes."

For the upcoming concerts, violinist Paul Huang said, "In today's fast-paced society, the necessity of understanding each other on a much deeper level has become ever more important. Performing Bruch's Scottish Fantasy for the Taiwan Philharmonic's first season opening concert since the pandemic began is particularly meaningful. German composer Max Bruch never traveled to Scotland prior to writing this concerto, yet through his studies of the Scottish culture, music, and landscape, he was able to portray a most colorful and convincing imagination of Scotland. Having music be the cultural ambassador, gives us an opportunity to objectively understand each other's cultural roots. After the beginning E-flat minor funeral march and through many soulful and touching folk melodies and upbeat rhythms, the concluding E-flat Major "call and response" sounds ever more triumphant. Perhaps it is also a metaphor of what we all have gone through together in the last two years. We must believe there is always a brighter future. Working with Maestro Märkl is always something that I look forward to. Our first collaboration happened when he stepped in to conduct Walton's Violin Concerto with me. Through that experience, I had the opportunity to understand this much beloved maestro on a deeper level. I always appreciate conductors having the ability to listen, react, and respond with soloists. Maestro Märkl not only has all of these qualities, but I know there is much more for me to learn from this great musician in the years to come. I eagerly look forward to reuniting with Maestro Märkl in these three concerts and trust that we will have a blissful time making music together for Taiwanese audiences."

Together, the Taiwan Philharmonic Music Director Jun Märkl and world-renowned violinist Paul Haung unveil the orchestra's 2022-23 season by presenting these three Scottish-influenced pieces in the season's Opening Concerts.

Learn more about the Taiwan Philharmonic's 2022-23 season and purchase tickets by visiting their website here.

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