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25th MACAO INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL

19/07/2011
Macau International Music Festival

The Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR Government presents the 25th Macao International Music Festival (MIMF) from October 7th to November 5th, 2011.

Each year the Macao International Music Festival brings internationally renowned artists from all over the world to Macao. Over the course of a quarter century, the MIMF has gradually evolved into the major musical event in the territory, promoting a balanced range of performances that reflect the diversity and uniqueness of Macao. The Festival strives to enrich the cultural life of the region while meeting the expectations and aspirations of the community.

This year marks the Silver Jubilee of the MIMF, and in honour of the occasion, the Cultural Affairs Bureau has organised a fascinating programme on an unprecedented scale. This year’s season encompasses grand opera, musical theatre, symphonic, choral and chamber music and performances in the contemporary, folk, pop, fusion and jazz genres, offering the public yet another dynamic encounter between East and West. Twenty diverse programmes – from Germany, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Lithuania, the USA, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China – bathe the Region’s stages in both ancient and modern sonic colours.

Inaugurating this 25th edition of the MIMF is a brand new full-scale production of the acclaimed hit show FAME – THE MUSICAL (7~9/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm) from BARKLEY KALPAK ASSOCIATES, INC, the creative team that brought Macao Chicago and Guys and Dolls in seasons past. Since its debut in New York, this pop/rock musical, based on the hit motion picture and long-running television series, has been pleasing audiences across the globe, from several sold-out runs in London’s West End to a myriad of successful international tours. Then, from 9 to 15/10 (Mandarin’s House, 3pm [9, 15/10], 8pm), the MIMF presents RISING SUN – THE MUSICAL, a revolutionary drama recreating an intensely keen yet little-known period in the life of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Hong Kong’s SPRING-TIME STAGE PRODUCTIONS joins hands with Macao’s THEATRE FARMERS to present this portrayal of Dr. Sun, from his rebellious youth until the crucial moment when the buds of revolutionary thought began to blossom within him. After its acclaimed 2008 premiere in Hong Kong, the show was revived to even greater enthusiasm.

A highlight of this MIMF season is Itzhak Perlman’s Violin Recital (20/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm). Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman is known for his brilliant technique, direct interpretation and precision. He enjoys a superstar status rarely afforded to a classical musician, and he has appeared with every major orchestra in the world, showcasing his talent at music festivals, recitals, and concerts on six continents. The man who plays sitting down has never ceased to bring audiences – and truly, the world – to their feet in appreciation of his gifts.

The MIMF is also proud to have invited a representative heir to China’s National Intangible Cultural Heritage, Li Xiangting, the most influential Guqin master of the contemporary era. He joins celebrated Pipa performer Zhao Cong and Dizi performer Chen Yue for the CHINESE FOLK MUSIC RECITAL, to be held in the World Heritage-listed Mandarin’s House (30/10, 8pm). Having stood the test of time for over a century, the Mandarin’s House in the UNESCO World Heritage-inscribed Historic Centre of Macao is now host to each of these masters of Chinese folk music.

The Festival’s offering of symphonic music begins with a concert by the VIENNA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA (10/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm), conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic. In the course of its more than 160 years of history, this most prominent orchestra of the capital city of music, and its musicians, have been an integral part of a musical epoch, which, due to an abundance of uniquely gifted composers and interpreters, must certainly be regarded as unique. The symphonic feast continues with the MACAO ORCHESTRA performing THE PERFECT MATCH - F. MATTRO RICCI COMMEMORATIVE CONCERT (16/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm). The Perfect Match, a symphonic suite for chorus and orchestra penned by celebrated composer Liu Cong with lyrics by renowned academic Ruan Zhenming, recalls Matteo Ricci’s wonderful experiences during his 28 years of missionary work in China and his immensely significant contribution to the exchange between Chinese and Western cultures. On 22/10 (Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm), the MACAO ORCHESTRA returns to the Festival stage presenting the Kindertotenlieder and the Faust Symphony in a concert titled A CELEBRATION OF TITANS: GUSTAV MAHLER AND FRANZ LISZT. The performance of these two renowned classics is a testament to the musicians’ skill and a showcase of the group’s remarkable achievements.

Early music is also featured on the 25th MIMF programme. With a unique success story, the AKADEMIE für alte musik BERLIN (Akamus), founded in 1982, is recognised as one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras. This early music consort gives a stirring performance of Baroque instrumental music (9/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm) and then joins a talented cast of singers for   ACIS and GALATEA, an OPERA IN 2 ACTS BY GEORG FRIEDERICH HÄNDEL(14~16/10, Dom Pedro V Theatre, 3pm [16/10], 8pm). A Baroque Western opera, now a featured genre on the MIMF programme for the second year running, Acis and Galatea (1718) was one of Händel’s most popular works, revived no fewer than eight times and performed at least seventy times by the middle of the 18th century. It was also one of the few large scale-works to remain popular after his death. An exciting new production not to be missed!

The MIMF joins hands with the international non-profit volunteer organisation ORBIS for the first time to host a charity concert honouring World Sight Day, titled DONDE TENGO EL AMOR: THE SACRED AND THE PROFANE IN MEDITERRANEAN TRADITIONS, performed by Portugal’s early music consorts ENSEMBLE VOCAL INTROITUS and SETE LÁGRIMAS (13/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm). This concert is a visit to a crossroads in our musical history, one that witnessed dialogue, competition, conflict and harmony between religious and secular music, featuring choral pieces that provide insight into the vast musical panorama of the Mediterranean region. All ticket revenues of this concert will be donated to ORBIS for their new medical project in Nepal.

As always, THE MACAO CHINESE ORCHESTRA takes the Festival stage, this time in commemoration of the founding of the Republic of China. For the XINHAI REVOLUTION COMMEMORATIVE CONCERT (15/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm), the Orchestra has specially commissioned new work from each of four distinguished Chinese composers of contemporary folk music – Liu Changyuan, Kuan Nai Chung, Hao Weiya and Li Binyang – and will present the world premieres of their works in Macao in solemn remembrance of the centennial anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution.

THE LITTLE SINGERS OF TOKYO (18/10, St. Dominic’s Church, 8pm) have a long history of arduous, thoughtful training dating back to 1951. Since their founding, they have performed in more than twenty countries and regions worldwide on continents including Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Offering an immensely rich experience, the chorus never fails to earn warm applause where ever it goes. This year marks this remarkable choir’s 60th anniversary. Visiting Macao for the first time, they will perform a collection of celebrated sacred music. On 26/10, even more voices will soar. Fine tuned by choirmaster Česlovas Radžiūnas, the singers of the LITHUANIAN NATIONAL OPERA AND BALLET THEATRE CHORUS

(St. Dominic’s Church, 8pm) perform a diverse programme of sacred music.

The classical and contemporary chamber music programme of the 25th MIMF begins with a concert by the JUILLIARD STRING QUARTET (23/10, Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium, 8pm). Long recognised as the quintessential American string quartet, the Juilliard is internationally renowned and admired for performances characterised by clarity of structure, beauty of sound, purity of line and an extraordinary unanimity of purpose. As Quartet-in-Residence at New York City's celebrated Juilliard School, the Juilliard String Quartet is widely admired for its seminal influence on aspiring string players around the world. Two days later, FESTIVAL STRINGS LUCERNE (25/10) will charm the public at the Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium (8pm). Established in 1956, Festival Strings Lucerne (FSL) has for decades been regarded as one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras. Known for performances of the highest quality, filled with enthusiasm, the FSL owns several master instruments, which, along with a long-standing performance tradition, help define the group’s unmistakable “golden sound” (Washington Post, 2003). Completing the chamber music programme of the Festival, the FAURÉ QUARTETT promises a magnificent concert at the Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium (3/11, 8pm). Founded in 1995, and choosing Gabriel Fauré as its namesake in honour of the French composer’s much–cherished works for piano quartet, it wasn’t long before this ensemble joined the ranks of prize-winners and award recipients. Ten years later, the Fauré Quartett had already climbed to the top of its field as the only German chamber ensemble of its kind.

On the jazz front, the 25th MIMF presents the unique sound of the DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND (28/10, Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium, 8pm). This world famous music machine, whose name is synonymous with genre-bending romps and high-octane performances, has revitalised the brass band in New Orleans and around the world, progressing from local parties, clubs, baseball games and festivals in their early years to touring nearly constantly in the US and more than 30 other countries on five continents.

This year, the renowned Hac Sa Beach tourist spot will serve as a performing venue for the first time, hosting a Portuguese fado, rock and pop music marathon and a rock’n’roll double-bill. On 29/11 (6pm) ANTÓNIO ZAMBUJO, whose honeyed tones and sensitive interpretation have propelled him to the vanguard of modern fado singers in international circles, performs with his quintet on the Hac Sa Beach stage. Zambujo will be followed by RUA DA SAUDADE, a project uniting four of Portugal's most renowned female vocalists – Susana Félix, Viviane, Luanda Cozetti and Mafalda Arnauth – assembled by producer Renato Jr. in homage to the late poet José Carlos Ary dos Santos on the 25th anniversary of his death. The Portuguese supergroup released their smash hit debut, Canções de Ary dos Santos in 2009, with the singers taking turns interpreting jazz-pop settings of the revolutionary poet’s words by such composers as Fernando Tordo, Nuno Nazareth Fernandes and Tozé Brito. Canções de Ary dos Santos peaked at number two on the Portuguese charts and spent ten weeks in the Top Ten. The final group in the marathon is AR DE ROCK – named in honour of the “Father of Portuguese Rock”, Rui Veloso – a journey through time via the best in modern music from Portugal. Musicians from a number of Portugal’s most celebrated bands join forces to recreate live, on stage, some of the most cherished songs in Portuguese rock culture. Ar de Rock invites audiences on an unforgettable musical voyage filled with surprises, and the opportunity to witness blockbuster Portuguese artists from various groups in a rare musical collaboration. The BEACH ROCK CONCERT (1/11, Hac Sa Beach) features CUI JIAN, the “Father of Chinese Rock” (Mainland China), followed by Macao’s own musical hometown hero JUN KUNG (Macao SAR) displaying his flair for composition and superb drum playing and singing skills, backed by a six-piece rock band featuring Hong Kong’s top players.

The MIMF’s production of Carl Maria von Weber’s DER FREISCHÜTZ, one of the great milestones in the history of opera, brings this Silver Jubilee season to a close, offering what is sure to be one of the major highlights on this year’s programme. Der Freischütz runs for three nights (2, 4, 5/11, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm). Maestro Lü Jia conducts the Macao Orchestra, and an energetic cast sings in this unforgettable piece of musical theatre, a manifesto for German Romantic opera.

The MIMF has invested renewed effort to provide master classes, and other activities to accompany its events, with the aim of stimulating public interest in the arts.

With the support of the Macao Post, the MIMF will also be releasing a set of Commemorative Stamps honouring this Silver Jubilee Festival Season in October, in order to promote Macao’s music culture throughout the world. This set of commemorative stamps includes postmarks, stamps and souvenir sheets.

In celebration of the Silver Jubilee Festival Season, the Cultural Affairs Bureau is recruiting Music Festival Ambassadors for the first time. This campaign is launched with a variety of training activities, aimed at enriching the musical knowledge and enhancing the artistic qualities of selected entrants. Applications for the Ambassadors will be accepted from now until 10th August. The training for the Music Festival Ambassadors will be conducted in September and October. All residents aged 16 or over are welcome to participate in this recruitment campaign. Outstanding candidates will act as Music Festival Ambassadors in the 25th Macao International Music Festival in October, providing docent services at exhibitions held during the Festival and introducing residents and tourists to the extraordinary path that the Festival has trod over the past quarter century. Chosen candidates may also have the opportunity to participate in arts exchange activities and visit the arts and cultural facilities of neighbouring regions in an attempt to broaden their horizons and enrich their knowledge.

Tickets for the 25th Macao International Music Festival go on sale at 10am on July 24th, 2011, at all Kong Seng Ticketing outlets. Telephone and online bookings will be available from 1pm onwards. A variety of discount plans will be offered. Publicity materials available at the ticket counters can provide more detailed information about the programme.

For more information related to the 25th MIMF, please visit the website of the Cultural Affairs Bureau at: www.icm.gov.mo/fimm
E-mail: fimm@icm.gov.mo
Information: 
(853) 2855 5555          Macao
(852) 2380 5083          Hong Kong
(86) 139 269 11111     Pearl River Delta Region

Online Reservations: www.macauticket.com

Hotline: (853) 8399 6699
The 25th Macao International Music Festival has the kind support of the Macao Government Tourist Office.



 


 


 


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (copyright Terry Linke) 


Itzhak Perlman Violin Recital (Copyright Akira Kinoshita)