Shanghai Orchestra Academy Launches Flute Festival; Flutists From Around China Gather In Shanghai

Shanghai Orchestra Academy Launches Flute Festival; Flutists From Around China Gather In Shanghai

The Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) hosted a Flute Festival June 27 - 29, 2018 with the support from AEP-China program. Robert Langevin, the principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic, hand in hand with Zhe Hu, the principal flutist of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, led young flutists from all over China to celebrate the 'art of flute' during the three-day festival.

The tradition of SOA's instrument festival began in 2015 with the first Trombone Festival, which was co-led by the principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic, Joseph Alessi, and the principal trombonist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Jay Hao. The Horn Festival and String Festival followed in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and the list continues to grow under the joint efforts from both orchestras. During the Flute Festival this year, over 30 young flutists joined on stage performing an all-flute version of Mozart's Flute Concerto in D Major and Franz von Suppé's The Light Cavalry Overture, among other works. In addition to the flute students from SOA, the large flute ensemble was comprised of flutists invited from the public. As described by an SOA spokesperson: "This is the first time we opened the audition to the general public. Once we posted the information online, we received a lot of phone calls and videos from young flutists. The final team was selected by the two coaches." The chosen flutists represented 15 provinces, cities and areas of China, including teachers and students from music schools, musicians from professional orchestras, and others. Thus, Zhe Hu described the festival as a "flute pageant."

Shansheng Huang, a teacher from the Music School of the National Taitung University, flew from Taiwan a few days before the festival specifically for the flute festival and participated in all the activities including rehearsals, master classes, lectures, and concerts. "Flute is one of the oldest instruments. It can produce a wonderful sound in all types of performances, no matter if it is solo or with an orchestra. The festival arranged performances from solo to quintet to chamber music with 30 flutists, fully demonstrating the infinite possibilities of flute in various compilations and genres. This was my first experience performing in such a large flute ensemble. Every rehearsal experience was unspeakable, amazing, and precious." Xue Wang, the Vice President and Principal Flutist of Guizhou Song and Dance Theater Symphony Orchestra added, "I got to know musicians from many orchestras. We talked about music and our impressions. Next, we will deepen the exchanges between provinces, learn from each other, and improve."

About the Shanghai Orchestra Academy

The Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) is a two-year post-graduate program designed to address the need for advanced orchestral training in China. It is a joint effort of the New York Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in partnership with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and under the leadership of founding president Long Yu. Other international partners have since offered practical training opportunities to SOA students, among them the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, and Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra. Starr International Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of the New York Philharmonic-Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership.

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