Thursday July 12, 2012
Night of lovely music
UNDER the baton of guest conductor Dong Jun Jie from China, the Penang Philharmonic performed three German classical pieces to a full house at the Dewan Sri Pinang in Penang.
The performance held in conjunction with the George Town Festival 2012 saw the 70-piece orchestra playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Opus 26, and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Opus 84 and Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Opus 67.
The soloist for Bruch’s number, Tang Tian Tian, thrilled the audience with her virtuosity and rock star looks.
The audience were so impressed with the performance that there were three curtain calls during the standing ovation.
There were also calls for an encore, and the orchestra not wanting to disappoint anyone, did a Chinese classical piece, Tribal Dance of the Yao, which brought the audience to their feet.
Dong said he was initially concerned over the local musicians’ ability to play the three pieces but the doubts disappeared when he saw how well-prepared they were under the tutelage of music director Woon Wen Kin.
Dong, a graduate from the Tianjin’s Central Conservatory of Music in China, is currently the conductor of the Tianjin Song and Dance Theatre Symphony Orchestra, and also the national music director and principal conductor of the Tianjin Song and Dance Theatre.
He won the ‘Outstanding Conductor Award’ during the Fifth Japan-China Friendship Band Festival in Japan in 2008, and had performed in Vienna, Ludwigshafen, Munich and Hamburg.
He was named ‘Outstanding Conductor’ in China’s First Opera Festival organised by the Chinese Ministry of Culture in November last year.
Dong and Tang were in Penang under the Penang Philharmonic collaborations and partnerships programme to expose musicians to diverse methods, arrangements and styles in an effort to bring the orchestra to a higher level of performance.
Tang studied the violin at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music and in 1999 proceeded to the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. She was under the violinist Leonid Kogan and graduated in 2003 with a Doctorate.
She won the Italy Pinerolo International Chamber Music Competition in 2003, and is currently an associate professor and master instructor at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music.