Macau International Music Festival

The Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR Government presents the 26th Macao International Music Festival (MIMF) from October 5th to November 7th, 2012.

Each year the Macao International Music Festival brings internationally renowned artists from all over the world to Macao. Over the course of more than 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.

With the enchanting melodies of last year’s Silver Jubilee edition still lingering in our hearts and minds, we are ready for yet another important moment in the history of the Festival. This year’s season encompasses grand opera, musical theatre, symphonic, choral and chamber music and performances in the contemporary, pop, fusion and jazz genres, offering the public yet another dynamic encounter between East and West. Twenty-three diverse programmes – from Germany, Austria, Portugal, United Kingdom, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, Russia, the USA, Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China – bathe the Region’s cultural venues in both ancient and modern sounds.

Inaugurating this 26th edition of the MIMF is a full-scale Broadway production of the acclaimed hit show PETER PAN – THE MUSICAL, STARRING CATHY RIGBY (USA) (5~7/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm), brought to Macao by McCoy Rigby Entertainment, Nederlander Presentations and Albert Nocciolino in association with Larry Payton, Michael Filerman, Heni Koenigsberg and La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Discover the magic all over again of the two-time Emmy award winning and two-time Tony Award nominated production. Peter Pan is filled with timeless magical moments and a captivating hook.

A highlight of this MIMF season is VADIM REPIN’S VIOLIN RECITAL (Russia) (14/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm). Undeniably one of the leading violinists in the world today, Repin has the sweet tone of a romantic and the strength of an athlete. Awarded numerous prizes including an Echo Award as “Instrumentalist of the Year 1999”, the Diapason d’Or, the Prix Caecilia and the Edison Award, he has appeared with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors and at the leading international festivals.

The classical and contemporary chamber music programme of the 26th MIMF begins with a concert by IMANI WINDS (USA) (9/10, Dom Pedro V Theatre, 8pm). More than North America's premier wind quintet, the Grammy-nominated ensemble is among the most exciting, inventive and distinctive ensembles in the chamber music world today. Since 1997 this quintet has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, genre-blurring collaborations and inspirational outreach programmes. Joyous energy and elegant virtuosity are hallmarks of their captivating performances. Two days later (11/10), THE KODÁLY QUARTET (Hungary) will charm the public at Dom Pedro V Theatre, at 8pm. Formed in Budapest in 1966, the ensemble has continued to exemplify the greatest standards of the rich Hungarian musical tradition, which it has carried on with such extraordinary distinction during more than forty years of international appearances.

The two concerts LAM BUN-CHING AND FRIENDSCHAMBER MUSIC CONCERTS AND ARTIST BOOK EXHIBITION (27, 28/10, Dom Pedro V Theatre, 8pm) feature a local musical luminary needing no introduction. Macao-born composer, pianist and conductor Lam Bun-Ching composes music that combines her Chinese sensibility with contemporary Western compositional techniques. In the first of this pair of concerts, the artist collaborates with baritone Thomas Buckner, a champion of her vocal works, many of which were specially written for and commissioned by him, as well as with soprano Grace Chiang. In the second she is joined by fellow pianist Margaret Lynn, a regular collaborator of Lam’s since their student days together at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Both concerts feature members of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble.

An Artist Book Exhibition is featured in the Dom Pedro V Lobby, facilitated by master printer and publisher Gunnar A. Kaldewey, a German book artist and Lam’s long-term collaborator. The Exhibition presents some of the Artist Books of poetry and philosophy that are the creative outcome of Lam and Kaldewey’s symbiotic relationship. Many of these books have inspired Lam Bun-Ching in her musical compositions, and her musical work has crossed over into the book projects.

Completing the chamber music programme of the Festival, the HONG KONG STRING QUARTET (Hong Kong SAR) promises a magnificent concert at the Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium (29/10, 8pm). Established by violinist Wong Sze Hang in 1993 with fellow members of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong Kong String Quartet has performed extensively in Hong Kong and in the region, including major music festivals. It has been Resident Quartet of Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) and the Hong Kong Science and Technology University and has received high critical acclaim, not only in Hong Kong but also for its performances in Beijing and at the Shanghai International Arts Festival.

The Festival’s offering of symphonic music begins with a concert by the MACAO ORCHESTRA performing WAGNER, VERDI: THE GREATEST MASTERS OF ROMANTIC OPERA (13/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm). The Macao Orchestra and Music Director Lü Jia present excerpts from works by the greatest Romantic operatic composers of all time, two giants who represent the conflicting sides of our nature: charity and the need for human connection versus the rage of the egotistical will and the mind's proud solitude.

Early music is also featured on the 26th MIMF programme. With a unique success story, THE ENGLISH CONCERT (United Kingdom) (12/10, St. Dominic’s Church, 8pm) was created by world-renowned harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock in 1973 and is among the world’s most distinguished chamber orchestras. For more than thirty years it has been critically acclaimed in concerts on four continents and in over 120 recordings of Baroque and Classical music, including many prize-winners. This early music concert gives a stirring performance of Baroque instrumental music.

A talented cast of singers is featured in LA SERVA PADRONA, an OPERA IN 2 ACTS BY GIOVANNI BATTISTA PERGOLESI (19~21/10, Dom Pedro V Theatre, 3pm [21/10], 8pm). This Baroque Western opera – now a featured genre on the MIMF programme for the third year running – had its premiere in 1733. It was originally an intermezzo for another of Pergolesi’s operas, Il prigionier superbo (The Proud Prisoner), but its success led to its being performed on its own. An exciting new production not to be missed!

As always, THE MACAO CHINESE ORCHESTRA takes the Festival stage, this year for the NEW STYLES OF NATIONAL MUSICconcert (21/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm). Three prominent contemporary performers – Dai Ya (Dizi), Wu Yuxia (Pipa) and Jiang Kemei (Banhu) – join forces with the Orchestra to present masterworks by renowned Chinese composers, revealing the new face of Chinese folk music.

LITHUANIA MY DEAR is the first of two concerts from the KAUNAS STATE CHOIR (23/10, St. Dominic’s Church, 8pm). Formed in 1969 by Petras Bingelis, who became its first and only Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, the Kaunas State Choir has gradually evolved into one of the finest classical choral groups in Lithuania. International renown came after the choir performed Mikis Theodorakis’ Spring Symphony on its first tours to Berlin and Paris in 1982. A decade later, the choir’s extensive concert tours have taken it to the New and Old Ways of India Festival, with a performance of Händel’s Messiah under Yehudi Menuhin, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival and festivals in Reims and Turku, amongst other events. A wonderful a cappella performance not to be missed, featuring mostly Lithuanian pieces – a Macao premiere. On 24/10 the Kaunas State Choir performs MUSICA SACRA (St. Lazarus’ Church, 8pm), the first concert with pipe organ ever to be presented in the MIMF, featuring one of Lithuania’s leading organists, Beata Andriuškevičienė. Built by the prominent Canadian organ makers Casavant Frères, who began organ-building in 1879, the new organ at St. Lazarus Church is one of a kind, tailor-made to the space’s conditions and constraints. Nearly one hundred artisans worked on what is now the largest musical instrument in Macao.

On the jazz front, the 26th MIMF presents the unique sound of the LEGENDARY COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRATM (USA) (17/10, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm). The living embodiment of swing, one of the most elegant and irresistible sounds that ever shook the Western world, the 19-piece Orchestra features a peerless array of instrumentalists with combined credentials that have topped the upper echelons of the international jazz world for decades. The musicians of pure desmond (Germany) (31/10, Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium, 8pm), relating to the original sound of Cool Jazz in the 1960s, founded their group in the year 2002 to dignify the music of the Paul Desmond Quartet (with Jim Hall, Gene Cherico and Connie Kay). In WHEN LIGHTS ARE LOW, they carry Desmond's music over into the 21st century, programming it together with their own original compositions and adaptations of songs of our time. GEORG GRATZER & beefólk (Austria) (2/11, Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium, 8pm) is a group of musicians formed in Graz, Austria, in 2001, who define their output as “expressive poetry from the next generation” and a journey across continents and musical genres. They present CINEMATIC MICROSCENES, a programme inspired by European chamber music and jazz, as well as by Asian sounds. The group’s eclectic style has been dubbed “Zappa-folk”, “chamber-music jazz” and “modern Austrian world music”.

The jazz extravaganza AIN'T THAT SWINGING IN MOUNT FORTRESS - JAZZ CONCERT BY FRIED NEURONIUM AND LOCAL JAZZ BANDS (28/10, Mount Fortress, 6pm) features three local jazz bands – Costa Modern Jazz Group, Macao Youth Symphonic Band Jazz Band and The Bridge – followed by the Portuguese jazz band Fried Neuronium, led by the group’s founder, jazz legend Zé Eduardo. Fried Neuronium is the most recent project by Zé Eduardo, one of the most prominent names in Portuguese jazz since his founding of the Hot Club Jazz School in 1979. Zé Eduardo is responsible for spreading and promoting jazz all over Portugal, through his creation and direction of several schools and orchestras and his active participation in music associations. Bringing the evening to a rousing close is a first-ever joint performance by all the groups, in big band format.

This year, the renowned Mount Fortress tourist spot hosts a concert by the Portuguese singer AUREA, titled LIVE ON TOUR 2012 (26/10, 8pm). Her unique, powerful and charming voice has success written all over it. At the tender age of 24, she is already among Portugal’s top musical acts and was hailed the voice of the nation in 2010. Her live album, Aurea - Ao Vivo no Coliseu dos Recreios, recorded in November 2011 and released a month later, achieved certified Gold status on the very date of its release. The singer recorded a duet with Elvis Presley for the album Love me Tender (approved by his own family and included in the Viva Elvis Collection), and her debut album reached and stayed at No. 1 for 9 weeks in a row. One day later (27/10, 8pm), another Portuguese singer, TERESA SALGUEIRO, presents her latest work, O MISTÉRIO, in the same venue. There can hardly be a more beautiful experience that hearing Portuguese singer Teresa Salgueiro sing. It's not necessary to speak her language to understand the scope and the power of the emotions she conveys. She has a voice with a naturally sensual glide that is simply arresting. That voice was, until recently, the trademark of Portugal's best ever group, Madredeus.

Italian pop singer,songwriter and actress DOLCENERA complements the array of female pop singers in this edition of the MIMF (22/11, Dom Pedro V Theatre, 8pm). The artist first came into the spotlight in 2003 as a winner of the Newcomers’ Section at the Sanremo Music Festival, but fame didn’t come until 2005 when she won the music-based reality show Music Farm on Italian TV channel RAI2. That same year, Dolcenera released Un Mondo Perfetto, which went straight to the Italian top-ten chart, sold more than 90,000 copies and was certified Platinum.

Known for their catchy, modern tunes, TAI CHI BAND (2/11, Mount Fortress, 3pm) are a Hong Kong Chinese canto-rock band. Founded in 1985, they became known that same year for winning the first edition of the Carlsberg Pop Music Festival. In 1986, the band won “Best Promising New Act” at the RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards and released their second album, Lost, quickly becoming one of the most successful bands of the territory.

World music is also featured in the MIMF. Formed in 2006 by famous morin khuur player and teacher Quan Sheng, HAYA BAND (Mainland China/ Inner Mongolia)(5/11, Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium, 8pm) breaks free of national boundaries and ethnic ties, mixing traditional Mongolian singing and instruments – such as khoomei (throat singing), morin khuur (horse-head fiddle), tanbur (long-necked lute) and shaman drum – with pioneering musical elements and modern instruments. In MIGRATION, Haya infuses ancient melodies passed down through the centuries with new blood. An opportunity to experience the beautiful sounds of Mongolian world music!

The Puccini Festival Foundation and MIMF present a joint production of TOSCA – OPERA IN THREE ACTS BY GIACOMO PUCCINI (1, 3, 4/11, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 7:30pm). One of the great milestones in the history of opera, Tosca offers Macao what is sure to be one of the major highlights on this year’s programme, for three nightsrunning. Maestro Lü Jia conducts the Macao Orchestra, and an energetic cast sings in this gripping tale of love, murder and suicide!

The SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY (USA) (7/11, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium, 8pm), one of the world’s most renowned orchestras, and its Music Director, Michael Tilson Thomas, celebrate the SFS Centennial season in the closing concert of the 26th MIMF. Founded in 1911 by a group of San Francisco citizens, music-lovers and musicians, the San Francisco Symphony grew to become one of the most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the USA. It presents more than 220 concerts annually for more than half a million people at home and around the globe. The Symphony has won 14 Grammy Awards, 15 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards, Japan’s Record Academy Award and France’s Grand Prix du Disque, among others. Apart from its performances, the Symphony is also engaged in musical education for all ages, through programmes in schools, workshops, a website, a TV series and annual free and community concerts, as well as through its SFS Youth Orchestra. The Symphony is joined by Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, whose command of the piano has been described as “astounding” and “superhuman”. She has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire and the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and graceful, charismatic stage presence.

The MIMF has invested renewed effort into providing extra activities to accompany the events, with the aim of further stimulating public interest in the arts.

Tickets for the 26th Macao International Music Festival go on sale at 10am on August 12th, 2012, at all Kong Seng Ticketing outlets. Telephone and online bookings will be available from 12pm 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 26th MIMF, please visit the website of the Cultural Affairs Bureau at:
Ticketing Hotlines: (853) 2855 5555          Macao
(852) 2380 5083          Hong Kong
(86) 139 269 11111      Pearl River Delta Region

Online Reservations:

Information Hotline: (853) 8399 6699
The 26th Macao International Music Festival has the kind support of the Macao Government Tourist Office.

Present at the press conference of the Macao International Music Festival, and in support of this year’s edition, were the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau S.A.R. Government, Ung Vai Meng, the Director of the Tourist Office, substitute, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the CEO of TDM – Teledifusão de Macau, Leong Kam Chun, the General-Manager of the Marketing and Network Planning Division of Air Macau, Ms. Chan Im Lan, Mavis, the Vice-President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, substitute, Leong Hio Ming and the Macao International Music Festival’s Artistic Director, Warren Mok.