Tang Prize concert blends Eastern, Western music

2014/09/22 17:49:00
Taiwanese opera master Liao Chiung-chih (left) and cellist Chang Chen-chieh.

Taiwanese opera master Liao Chiung-chih (left) and cellist Chang Chen-chieh.

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) The five Tang Prize laureates and others who attended a concert in Taipei Tuesday to mark the first Tang Prize awards were treated to a night of captivating music that blended Eastern and Western elements.

The Tang Prize Concert at the National Concert Hall opened with an overture that blended Western instruments such as trumpets with Chinese ones such as the oboe-like suona and bronze bells called bianzhong.

The piece was composed specifically for the Tang awards by Chung Yiu-kwong, general director of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra.

Seventy-eight-year-old Taiwanese opera master Liao Chiung-chih then gave a moving performance of the Taiwanese opera piece "Wang Bao Chuan," accompanied by 12 cellists.

The piece is about a classic love story from China's Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), involving Wang Baochuan, who waited 18 years for her husband Xue Pinggui to return from war.

Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra then performed a brisk Hakka mountain song called "Rondo on Hakka Folksong Ping-Pan Tune," before collaborating with Peking opera diva Wei Hai-min on the Chinese opera piece "The Anecdotes of Tai Zhen," about a love affair between Tang Dynasty Emperor Ming and his consort, Lady Yang.

Soprano Mewas Lin also performed aboriginal songs and sang selections from Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata."

The concert closed with a National Symphony Orchestra performance of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92."

Tang Prize Head Musical Director Chang Chen-chieh said he hopes the diverse program showed Taiwan's rich and diverse culture to the Tang Prize laureates and their families.

The Tang Prize was established in 2012 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin to honor leading lights from around the world in four fields: sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and rule of law.

(By Christie Chen)
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