The Columbus Symphony to Meld Musical Cultures in the EAST MEETS WEST FESTIVAL

Conducted by CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov, this exotic, multi-media program presents a sensuous mix of eastern and middle-eastern colors. In addition to the enduringly popular Scheherazade by Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov (inspired by the Arabian Nights legends), the program features Bartók's electrifying pantomime, The Miraculous Mandarin, performed in combination with an original video by artist Tim McLoraine, plus The Grand Canal, a piece that brings together traditional instruments and an opera singer from China with a symphony orchestra.

The Columbus Symphony presents the East Meets West Festival at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13, at 8pm. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 228-8600 or (800) 745-3000. The CAPA Ticket Center will also be open two hours prior to each performance. In addition, there will be a Friday Dress performance on Friday, May 12, at 10am, offering $20 general admission tickets.

The 2016-17 Masterworks Series is made possible through the generous support of season sponsor Anne Melvin.

Prelude - Patrons are invited to join WOSU's Christopher Purdy at 7pm for a 30-minute, pre-concert discussion about the works to be performed.

Postlude - After the program, patrons are invited to join Maestro Milanov in the Galbreath Pavilion where there will be Chinese foods and beverages available for purchase.

Mozart to Matisse - Orientalism in Art

Wednesday, May 10, 2pm, Columbus Museum of Art (480 E. Broad St.)

In collaboration with the Columbus Museum of Art, this afternoon lecture will examine paintings of the Near East and Asia by European artists who depict the Orient as exotic, colorful, and mysterious. The talk will be paired with a performance of Debussy's String Quartet in G minor by Columbus Symphony musicians. Tickets are $5 for CMA members or $20 for non-members (which also includes admission to the museum) and can be purchased by calling CMA at 614.629.0359.

Friday Dress - The Columbus Symphony will offer $20 general admission tickets to the 10am rehearsal on Friday, May 12.

About CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov

Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is currently the Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and recently completed his second season with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra to enthusiastic acclaim. He is also Music Director of the Princeton Symphony and Spain's Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA).

The 2016-17 CSO season builds upon many of the innovative ideas that were introduced in his first season-thematic festivals, enrichment programs, integrated experiences, and collaborations with other local cultural institutions. In Princeton, he is continuing the tradition of adventurous programming and collaborating with violinist Leila Josefowicz, clarinetist David Krakauer, and composers Saad Haddad and Zhou Tian. In Spain, he will conduct the Spanish premiere of Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa with the Oviedo Opera and the gala concert of the "Princess of Asturias" awards with OSPA.

Milanov has collaborated with some of the world's preeminent artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Christian Tetzlaff, and André Watts. During his 11-year tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he conducted more than 200 performances as Associate Conductor and as Artistic Director of the Orchestra's summer home at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts. In 2015, he completed a 15-year tenure as Music Director of the nationally recognized training orchestra Symphony in C in New Jersey. His passion for new music has resulted in numerous world premieres of works by composers such as Richard Danielpour, Nicolas Maw, and Gabriel Prokofiev among others.

Rossen Milanov studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, where he received the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship.

About guest Wang Guowei, erhu

Wang Guowei is a composer and master musician on the erhu (a Chinese two-string fiddle). He studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and was formerly soloist and concertmaster of the Shanghai Traditional Orchestra. Since 1996, he has been artistic director of the New York-based ensemble Music from China, and has appeared with the group at colleges, universities, and cultural institutions across the US. As a solo artist, Guowei has performed with the Shanghai Quartet, Amelia Piano Trio, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Continuum, DaCamera of Houston, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Post Classical Symphony, and artists Yo-Yo Ma, Ornette Coleman, Butch Morris, and Kenny Garrett. Guowei is conductor of the Music from China Youth Orchestra and has taught erhu and Chinese orchestra at Wesleyan University, New York University, Westminster Choir College at Rider University, and currently Williams College as an artist-in-residence in Chinese music performance. He is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship, New York State Council on the Arts music commission grant, American Composers Forum Gerome Foundation commissioning award, and grants from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Queens Council on the Arts.

About guest Sun Li, ruan

Sun Li graduated from the Shenyang Music Conservatory where she studied pipa and was a member of the Central Song and Dance Ensemble in Beijing. Since 2002, she has performed with Music from China, a New York-based Chinese music ensemble, at numerous educational and cultural institutions across the US. The New York Times described her performances as "virtuosic and colorful." Her recent appearances include the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, 2013 Lincoln Center Festival, and 2015 Festival International Musique Actuelle. Li will play a traditional Chinese string instrument called a ruan, which is a four-string lute with a fretted neck and circular body.

About guest Qian Yi, vocalist

From the age of 10, Qian Yi studied classical Chinese opera (Kunqu) at the Shanghai Opera School. As a member of the Shanghai Opera Company, she became known for her leading roles in The Legend of the White Snake, The Water Margin, and other standards of the classical Chinese opera repertoire. The Chinese Ministry of Culture recognized her as one of the country's finest young Kunqu actors. In 1998, Yi was cast in the lead role of Lincoln Center Festival's epic 19-hour production of The Peony Pavilion, touring internationally to play at major international festivals in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Since coming to the US, she has starred in numerous re-workings of Chinese opera for a western theater context, including Ghost Lovers (Spoleto USA), The Orphan of Zhao (Lincoln Center), and Snow in June (American Repertory Theater). In 2008, she made her western opera premiere, singing a leading role in the San Francisco Opera's new production of Amy Tan's The Bonesetter's Daughter. She continues to perform Chinese opera, starring in the Contemporary Legend Theatre's The Butterfly Dream which premiered at Taiwan's National Theater as part of its 20th anniversary celebration. She also starred in The Eternal Palace, which was performed in venues across the US including the Smithsonian Freer+Sackler Galleries. In addition to these performances, she has brought her knowledge of Chinese traditional theater to American audiences in an academic context, having taught Chinese opera movement at Barnard College and Columbia University, and given numerous lectures and demonstrations at universities and museums around the country.

About guest Tim McLoraine, video artist

Tim McLoraine creates video art that appears in settings as varied as orchestra concerts, opera, stage plays, public art, and gallery installations. Notable productions include Cunning Little Vixen at Lincoln Center for the New York Philharmonic, Orphic Moments at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, The Body of an American at Theater J in DC, Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio performed at the Teatro del Lago in Chile, and Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Tanglewood Music Center. His concert-based video works include Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Persephone for the American Symphony Orchestra at the Bard College Summer Music Festival, and a collaboration with the Capital City Symphony for the Atlas Theatre's Intersections Festival. McLoraine frequently collaborates with his husband, conductor James Ross, to create original concert experiments which have included Britten's Les Illuminations, Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin, and The Little Match Girl with the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra. His video installation "all that we see or seem" was shown at the 39th Street Gallery in Maryland, and his video piece "sit stand lie, Bayonne" was selected as a featured public art installation for Art All Night DC 2015. His experimental film Hontanas won a judge's prize at the Brentwood Arts Exchange Video Fest.

About composer Béla Viktor János Bartók (1881-1945)

Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist today considered to be one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology. The Miraculous Mandarin is a one-act, pantomime ballet composed by Bartók between 1918-1924 based on the story by Melchior Lengyel. When it premiered on November 27, 1926, in Cologne, Germany, it caused a scandal and was subsequently banned on moral grounds. Although more successful at its Prague premiere, it was generally performed during the rest of Bartók's life in the form of a concert suite, which preserves about two-thirds of the original pantomime's music.

About composer Zhou Tian (b. 1981)

Described as "absolutely beautiful" and "utterly satisfying" (Fanfare), the works of Chinese-born American composer Zhou Tian have been commissioned and/or performed by major orchestras in the US and abroad, including the Cincinnati Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, Houston Symphony, RTÉ National Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and by leading soloists and ensembles such as pianist Yuja Wang, violist Roberto Díaz, guitarist Jason Vieaux, violinist Caroline Goulding, flutist Jeffrey Khaner, the Eroica Trio, the Arditti and Dover string quartets, the Empire Brass, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Tian's large-scale symphonic suite for soloists, orchestra, and chorus, The Grand Canal, was performed during a nationally televised celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The work was also selected as a theme at 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and received its US premiere by the Princeton Symphony conducted by Rossen Milanov.

About composer Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov was a member of the group of composers known as "The Five." A master of orchestration, his best-known orchestral compositions-Capriccio Espagnol, the RussIan Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite, Scheherazade-are staples of the classical music repertoire, along with suites and excerpts from some of his 15 operas. Scheherazade is a symphonic suite based on One Thousand and One Nights (sometimes known as The Arabian Nights). This orchestral work combines two features typical of Russian music and Rimsky-Korsakov in particular-dazzling, colorful orchestration and an interest in the East which figured greatly in the history of Imperial Russia as well as orientalism in general. It is considered Rimsky-Korsakov's most popular work.

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