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Monday, May 21, 2012

Chinese-Canadian Performance Arts Festival presents Gala Concert June 3

CAST art work - thumbnail.jpg

Presented by the Chinese Artists Society of Toronto

Top Chinese-Canadian soloists perform music from their birth country and the West, in the 2012 Chinese-Canadian Performing Arts Festival Celebration Gala, Sunday, June 3, 7:30 p.m. at the Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto. 

Tickets, $28, are available from the Roy Thomson Hall box office, or by phone at 416-872-4255.  For more concert information, call (416) 733-4644.

The concert is presented by CAST, the Chinese Artists Society of Toronto.  Headed by Violinist Alec Hou and composer-conductor Erhei Liang, the organization showcases stunning young soloists and new compositions in its annual Celebration Gala concert – the opening event of the 2012 Chinese-Canadian Performing Arts Festival, which features 10 performances in various genres in June and July 2012.

Maestro Hou and Liang leads the CAST Philomusica Orchestra in a evening certain to delight audiences keen to hear outstanding musicians and a colorful program by Chinese composers representing different periods and various styles. 

The program opens with the Concert Overture to “Wang Gui and Li Xiang Xiang”, by Erhei Liang, based on four songs from  the 1950 opera Wang Gui and Li Xiang Xiang, the first Chinese opera translated and adapted in Western countries.  The opera was written by his father, Hanguang Liang (1917-1989).

Among the soloists appearing with the CAST Philomusica are soprano Yi-ping Chao in a set of songs by various Chinese composers with distinctive styles; and Chun-jie Wang in a work for Chinese flute and orchestra, a virtuosic piece for Chinese flute, recently arranged with orchestral accompaniment.  

Under the baton of Alec Hou, the orchestra plays Fantasy by Toronto composer Mizi Tan, with (western) flutist Samantha Chang (“lyricism, resourcefulness, and strong personal commitment to the flute” – The WholeNote) and harpist Andrew Chan (“a rare charisma” – the National Post) as soloists. 

Pianist Langning Liu (“a sensitive, extremely compelling artist...elegant pianism, warmth and artistic maturity” – New York Times) plays Chopin’s Barcarolle, Op. 60, and joins Erhei Liang and the orchestra for the fourth movement of the famed Yellow River Concerto.

The Celebration Gala is presented with funding from the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.

Erhei Liang is a conductor and composer, trained at the Shanghai Conservatory and at Louisiana State University,   He has composed symphonies, concertos, chamber and electronic music, solo and choral works.  His works have been telecast and performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. An immigrant to Toronto in 1991, he is president of the Chinese Artists Society of Toronto, executive director of the Toronto Chinese Piano & String Teachers’ Association, artistic director of the Academy of Chamber Music for Young Musicians, and composer-in-residence of Hong Kong Chamber Chorus, for which he has composed many choral works.  The Canadian Music Centre recorded his recent multidisciplinary work Songs of Love at its November 2009 premiere in Toronto.

PROGRAM – 2012 Chinese-Canadian Performing Arts Festival Celebration Gala:

Hanguang Liang/Erhei Liang : Overture: Wang Gui and Li Xiang Xiang                     
CAST Philomusica Orchestra, Conductor: Erhei Liang

Ting-jiang Hu:              Listening to the Sea                                                     
Hanguang Liang:          Teams of mules cross mountains, from the film Cradle on Horseback                      
Pei-dong Xu:                Hometown Accent and Nostalgia                                
Yi-ping Chao, soprano; CAST Philomusica Orchestra, Conductor: Erhei Liang

Wei-de Nan, Zheng Li:            Under Green Mountains                                             
Chun-jie Wang, Chinese flute; CAST Philomusica Orchestra, Conductor: Erhei Liang

Mizi Tan:                     Fantasy                                                                                   
Samantha Chang, flute; Harp: Andrew Chan, harp; CAST Philomusica Orchestra, Conductor: Alec Hou

Chopin:                                    Barcarolle Op. 60                                                       
Langning Liu, piano

The Central Orchestra:             Yellow River Concerto, 4th Movement                                   
Langning Liu, piano; CAST Philomusica Orchestra, Conductor: Erhei Liang


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