Keeping you up to date with the latest from the KT Wong Foundation.
LD’s dinner w Benedict Cumberbatch and Jiang Wen
On 11 July, LD had a relaxed dinner with Benedict Cumberbatch and his wife Sophie Hunter, the Chinese top director and actor Jiang Wen, his wife Zhou Yun, also a famous actor, in restaurant Park Chinois in London.
Benedict Cumberbatch took a break from the shooting of BBC series “Sherlock” and go back to London to attend the dinner.
LD’s sister Clara Wong, BC’s friend Adam Ackland also attended the dinner.
Festival d’Aix & Beijing Music Festival Sign Five-Year Agreement
Two of the world’s most renowned music festivals have agreed an historic five-year artistic collaboration, orchestrated by the KT Wong Foundation.
Bernard Foccroulle, Artistic Director of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Long Yu, Founder and Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival, signed an agreement on 10th October 2015 that will see an exchange of the finest classical and operatic productions between China and Europe.
This groundbreaking partnership will launch in October 2016 with a series of performances of Benjamin Britten’s operatic masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This 2015 revival of the legendary 1991 production, directed by Robert Carsen, will be staged at the Poly Theatre in Beijing as part of the Beijing Music Festival.
This unique cultural milestone was conceived by the pioneering KT Wong Foundation, an organisation that has led the way in delivering boundary-pushing cultural, artistic and educational exchanges between China and the West since its launch in 2007. As well as a commitment to promoting cultural relations, the Foundation has also established itself as a leading supporter of young musical talent in China, Europe and the US.
Under the leadership of Founder and Chairman Lady Linda Wong Davies, the organisation has been a longtime supporter of both the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Beijing Music Festival, and worked tirelessly over the past three years to bring them together.
In France the Foundation has supported a range of productions presented at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence including:
- Handel’s Ariodante directed by Richard Jones
- JS Bach’s Trauernacht directed by Katie Mitchell
- Britten’s A Midsummer Nights Dream directed by Robert Carsen
- Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta/Persephone directed by Peter Sellers
- Jonathan Dove’s Monster in the Maze directed by Marie-Eve Signeyrole
In addition the Foundation has been introducing the work of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence to Chinese audiences since December 2014 with a series of film screenings in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin of some of the Festival’s previous seminal productions. These extraordinary productions have included Patrice Chéreau’s chilling production of Strauss’ Elektra, The Robert Carsen sparkling revival of A Midsummer Nights Dream and Robert Lepage’s water-filled production of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale.
Lady Linda Wong Davies said: “The KT Wong Foundation are extremely proud to have played a key role in securing this historic partnership between the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Beijing Music Festival.
“These two leading music festivals are recognised for showcasing the world’s finest artistic and musical talent, and this argument will allow them to reach out to new audiences in both countries, create new artistic ventures, and provide opportunities for young artists, creators and performers.
“The KTWF has worked tirelessly over the past three years to bring these two festivals together. This collaboration represents a significant triumph for the Foundation’s continuing commitment to building cultural bridges and creating the best environment for artistic exchange to thrive between China and the West.
“I commend my colleagues B Foucroulle and Maestro Long Lu on their individual and combined vision and courage to come together in their desire for greater artistic creativity and excellence.
“We must remember that in these uncertain times, where our societies are rocked by economic and political changes, that France has continued to show the world that support of the cultural arts remain a priority. The leadership shown by the signing of this agreement is a testament to the strength of the relationship between France and China.’
“Since its launch in 2007, the Foundation has already produced a hugely diverse body of work, creating, producing and supporting boundary-pushing creative ventures across disciplines including opera, design, architecture and film.
“I am very excited to be part of this cultural milestone and look forward to helping make this unique collaboration truly an exciting creative platform for meaningful cultural exchange between China and France.”
Notes to Editors
Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation
Since its establishment, the Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation has presented a variety of musical performances and hosted a range of unique educational events. The Foundation’s major event is the Beijing Music Festival, which runs in October each year. This is now one of the most significant cultural events in Beijing and a world-leading music festival. The Foundation also supports a strong outreach and public education program during the Beijing Music Festival, with a wide-ranging programme of master classes, campus concerts, lectures by artists, children’s concerts and folk-music concerts.
The Foundation commissions and presents premieres of new works by great Chinese and international composers. These have become a new legacy in the repertoire of Chinese culture and include:
- Zhou Long’s Madame White Snake, which was co-commissioned with Opera Boston, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2011.
- The world premiere of Ye Xiaogang’s opera, Song of Farewell (text by Sun Gexuan)
- The sensational Chinese premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No.8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”).
For the opening concert of the 13th Beijing Music Festival, the Foundation commissioned Howard Shore to write a new piano concerto commemorating the bicentennial of Chopin’s Birth. Entitled “Ruin and Memory” and premiered by Lang Lang, this work received its world premiere at the festival.
The Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation continues to work in close cooperation with many world-leading music festivals, and the greatest musicians and orchestras from China and beyond.
Aix en Provence Festival
Every year since 1948, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence aims to present a wide variety of opera productions, youth works and famous Mozart operas, contemporary works, rediscovery of baroque masterpieces, chamber operas, not to mention exceptional concert programs. Thanks to this variety, the Festival is gaining an always growing and very enthusiastic audience, with over 81,000 spectators in June and July 2015. It intends to bring live opera into the contemporary world and on the most prestigious national and international scenes.
Recognized for its excellency, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence has become in the last years a reference point for innovation: educational initiatives and high range awareness programs, artistic innovation with the participation of contemporary visual artists and cultural innovation through a unique network of collaborations. Promoting an international approach in one of the core values of the Festival. Therefore, is has been collaborating for many years with the largest opera houses in Europe and North America. With this first partnership in China, the Festival extends the circle of its international partners, as initiated with the agreement signed with Bahrain Opera in 2013 and with collaborations in Singapore and South Korea.
KT Wong Foundation
The KT Wong Foundation, an independent organization established in 2007 by Lady Wong Davies is dedicated to developing cultural exchange between China and the rest of the world through collaborative projects. The Foundation acts as a catalyst and producer for innovative creative ventures that bring together artists and cultural projects in a wide number of disciplines. The Foundation aims to foster a mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world by presenting the best of the East and West to each other.
The Foundation co-produced new productions of operas including Handel’s Semele, which was recently presented at BAM in New York and Britten’s Opera for Young People Noyes Fludde in Beijing & Shanghai as part of the Cultural programme of the London Olympics. For the Beijing Olympics the Foundation commissioned Chen Yi’s Olympic Fire and more recently a new Trumpet Concerto written for Alison Balsom by Qigang Chen, which were both performed at the BBC Proms Concert Series.> A new score by Zou Ye accompanied the Chinese silent classic film The Goddess at Film festivals in China and Europe. The Foundation is a major supporter of the Aix Festival. In 2014 the Foundation supported Ariodante and Trauernacht and has recently presented the inaugural screenings of operas from Aix in Beijing and Shanghai.
The KT Wong Foundation Launches Young Chinese Musicians Scholarship Fund at The Palace of Versailles, France.
On 22nd June 2015, the KT Wong Foundation will be launching a new fund to help talented Chinese students to study in Europe. The Young Chinese Musicians Scholarship Fund will be launched to a specially invited audience in the beautiful Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
Renowned Chinese Pianist Lang Lang will play for an exclusive audience in this unique fundraising event, which will also raise money for the Château de Versailles Restoration Fund.
This will be the first time an artist of such international stature has been allowed this privilege –
The Hall of Mirrors is usually reserved for the heads of State and the highest governmental affairs. The recital will be filmed by Sony.
Foundation Hosts Reception for Semele Premiere at BAM
Lady Davies, founder and chair of the KT Wong Foundation, hosted a special reception ahead the US premiere of Semele, which premieres at BAM, New York on March 4. This production of Semele, co-produced by the KT Wong Foundation and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie | de Munt, sets a new standard in the fusion of contemporary art and classical music, whilst at the same time representing a unique cross-fertilisation between Chinese and European culture.
Directed by Chinese visual and performance artist Zhang Huan, Semele weaves together the dynamism of contemporary art with the grandeur and passion of 18th century baroque opera, while exploring universal themes of love, ambition, greed, jealousy, betrayal and redemption. This groundbreaking production is set within the walls of a stunning 450-year-old Ming Dynasty temple, which weighs 17 tons and is transformed into an altar, a palace, a crematory, and heaven. The temple is a powerful symbol of ritual, which plays an important role in Semele as envisioned by Zhang Huan, who conceived the set design and props especially for the production.
‘Semele’ is presented by the Canadian Opera Company and stars Jane Archibald, Hilary Summers, Katherine Whyte, Kyle Ketelsen and Lawrence Zazzo, with Christopher Moulds leading the critically acclaimed COC Orchestra and COC Chorus.
Semele is scheduled at the Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, NY) for four performances only – March 4, 6, 8 and 10, 2015. For tickets, visit BAM.org/semele.
KT Wong’s Semele Premieres in US March 2015
Following successful performances in Belgium, Canada and China, Handel’s Semele, co-produced by the KT Wong Foundation (KTWF) and Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, has been invited to premiere at the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in March 2015. The production is presented by Canadian Opera Company, directed by famous Chinese contemporary visual artist Zhang Huan, with distinguished British conductor and Baroque opera expert Christopher Moulds leading the critically acclaimed COC Orchestra and COC Chorus.
The story, of what is Handel’s most sensuous opera, focuses on Semele, a princess and mistress of the god Jupiter, whose attempt to trade sexual favors for divinity leads to her undoing.
As a leading arts and cultural foundation, the KT Wong Foundation has been at the forefront of cultural exchange between the East and West since its founding in 2007. Resolute in her vision to foster bridges between China and the wider world, KT Wong Foundation chairwoman Lady Linda Wong Davies approached Zhang Huan – one of the most boundary-pushing artists in China whose work often focuses on existential explorations and social commentary – to direct Semele, despite the artist’s lack of experience in opera. The result was an unlikely pairing between an avant-garde Chinese artist and a world-famous Belgian opera house, uniting Western Baroque opera with Chinese stagecraft for the first time ever. As Lady Davies said, “One of the aims of the Foundation is to go beyond the normal cultural boundaries, the normal disciplines, to bring all sorts of people together and to foster dialogue and exchange.”
Zhang Huan conceived a provocatively playful production that blends the Greek myth of Semele with the contemporary true story of an ill-fated Chinese love triangle – all set within the walls of an actual 450-year-old Ming Dynasty temple, which weighs 17 tons and is transformed into an altar, a palace, a crematory, and heaven. This spectacular ancestral temple was bought and excavated by Zhang Huan from a village outside Shanghai. During excavation he discovered a diary of a former tenant, who upon finding out about his wife’s repeated adultery, murdered her lover – an eerie echo of Semele’s crime. The man was later arrested and executed. Zhang managed to trace the woman’s whereabouts and invited her to Brussels to appear in the performance.
For this bold and daring production of Semele, internationally renowned Canadian singer Jane Archibald reprises the role of Semele, which she sang with the COC in 2012. Archibald leads an esteemed cast of new and familiar faces to the COC. Canadian tenor Colin Ainsworth is the god Jupiter, and Welsh contralto Hilary Summers makes her COC debut portraying both Jupiter’s jealous wife, Juno, and Ino, Semele’s sister. Canadiansoprano Katherine Whyte returns to reprise the role of Juno’s messenger, Iris. Americanbass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen portrays Semele’s father, Cadmus, and the god of sleep, Somnus. American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo is Semele’s jilted suitor, Athamas.
Han Feng, sought-after for her fashion as well as costume and exhibition designs, plays with Zhang’s concept to create a fusion of Chinese theatre and European Baroque in the costumes enhanced by the magical lighting design originally conceived by Wolfgang Göbbel, and recreated by Willem Laarman.
Semele is scheduled at Howard Gilman Opera House for four performances only – March 4, 6,8 and 10, 2015. To purchase tickets online visit bam.org/semele or contact BAM Ticket Services at 718-636-4100.
KT Wong Sponsors First ‘Orchestra for Myanmar’
Over the last few months, British-German-Chinese violinist Sebastian See-Schierenberg has been working on a groundbreaking and exciting project, involving young Myanmar musicians, to create the first ‘Orchestra for Myanmar’.
This new project, which is presented by the UK-based charity Live4Music and sponsored by the KT Wong Foundation, with the support from the British Council, the Goethe Institut and the Government of Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture, will bring together talented musicians from different states, communities, organisations and institutions in Myanmar. The orchestra will act as an international-level training platform for young, aspiring musicians in Myanmar. Furthermore, the orchestra itself will become a role model for young people and a symbol of friendship and peace.
During Phase 1 of this project, Project Director Sebastian See-Schierenberg, has been coaching, training and mentoring the musicians who will be taking part in this project, with the assistance of a number of Yangon-based Myanmar and international professional musicians. Phase 1 culminates with this debut performance of the Orchestra at the National Theatre on 31 January.
For Phase 2, the project plans to do a national tour of a number of states in Myanmar in 2015/16, to showcase the achievements and talents of the orchestra as well as to audition and coach additional musicians from around the country.
For Phase 3, the ambition is to have the Orchestra to perform internationally at reputable music festivals in the region and beyond.
The Orchestra is comprised of musicians from a number of institutions and organisations, such as National University of Arts and Culture, the AOC Orchestra, Gitameit, Myanmar Institute of Theology (MIT), International School Yangon (ISY), the British International School, among others. A number of Yangon-based international musicians are also supporting the project.
- A specially written piece by the leading composer of Myanmar Mg Mg Zaw Htet for Burmese harp and strings (soloist and composer are leading figures and staff at the Uni of Arts and Culture, an important government connection)
- Naga Ni (Red Dragon, a traditional Burmese song)
- Ravel Bolero for full orchestra
- Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo by Mascagni
- Clair de Lune for violin and reduced orchestra
- Beethoven piano sonata movement (soloist and orchestra coach Mariana Olaizola)
- Butterworth, ‘Lovely Trees’ for Baritone (choir coach Sam Glatman) and Mariana
- Russian Dance by Pat Legg
- Bonse Abe for Choir (from the international school ISY)
Foundation’s Dinner Gala Celebrates Lang Lang in Paris
The KT Wong Foundation hosted a special dinner for Lang Lang in Paris to celebrate and support his recital at Theatre des Champs Élysées on November 17. The world-famous pianist and UN Messenger of Peace has been a friend and collaborator of the foundation for many years.
The most recent collaboration took place at the UN Headquarters in New York on October 24, when the foundation supported the debut concert of Lang Lang’s UN Youth Orchestra at the opening of the newly renovated General Assembly Hall. The orchestra was comprised of 80 musicians under the age of 18 from 20 countries and four continents, many from underprivileged backgrounds. The objective of the newly found orchestra was to bring a new perspective of life and encouragement to all the young musicians in the orchestra. Other projects between Lang Lang and the KT Wong Foundation include the BBC documentary Live or Die in 2012 and Lang Lang Dance Project in Paris in 2013.
The Lang Lang International Music Foundation’s (LLIMF) objective of fostering new talents through the universal language of music also reflects KT Wong Foundation’s mission, so it is with great pleasure that Lady Davies, Chair of the KT Wong Foundation, hosted this special dinner event for Lang Lang and friends.
Lady Davies on Ruan Lingyu, on Huffington Post
In a recently published Huffington Post article written by KT Wong Foundation founder Lady Linda Wong Davies, Lady Davies shares her views on Ruan Lingyu – the iconic film star from China’s silent era who tragically took her life at the age of 26 – the position of women in Chinese society in the early twentieth century and the importance of screening the re-mastered version of her iconic film “The Goddess” in the UK for the first time.
“The story of The Goddess highlights the challenges faced by an impoverished single mother and prostitute struggling to put her son through school. The female lead, whose name we never learn, suffers a series of escalating hardships and humiliations at the hands of punishing authority figures,” Lady Davies.
Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/lady-linda-wong-davies/bfi-london-why-its-time-f_b_5966544.html
Foundation Supports UN Youth Orchestra
The KT Wong Foundation is proud to support the first UN Youth Orchestra at the reopening of the UN General Assembly Hall on October 24, 2014. The event is part of the United Nations Day celebrations and the second annual Lang Lang & Friends Annual Gala by the Lang Lang International Music Foundation (LLIMF).
Lead by Manuel López Gómez, world famous pianist Lang Lang will perform with an orchestra of 80 children from over 20 countries and four continents.
The United Nations Day is traditionally reserved as a special concert for the General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, with the aim to reflect the global impact the UN has offered the world in its work, through the most universal of all languages, music.
In 2011 the KT Wong Foundation was the sole foundation partner supporting renowned conductor Sir Daniel Barenboim and his West Eastern Divan Orchestra’s (WEDO) first tour of China. Barenboim and the late Edward Said created this trailblazing orchestra of young musicians from widely divergent beliefs with the express goal to bridge cultures and promote dialogue between them through music. The KT Wong Foundation’s support of the coming UN Youth Orchestra further demonstrates the foundation’s commitment to supporting young talents and fostering cross-cultural dialogue.
With a similar mission to inspire and motivate the next generation of classical music lovers and performers and to encourage music performance at all levels, KT Wong Foundation is delighted to support the LLIMF at this historical event.
The Goddess, UK Premier – Tickets go on Sale!
Tickets for the highly anticipated UK premier of the digitally re-mastered Chinese classic The Goddess officially went on sale on September 18th.
A new score commissioned by the KT Wong Foundation, by the renowned Chinese composer Zou Ye will be performed live during the screening by the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Chalmers.
Lead actress Ruan Lingyu’s devastating performance as an unnamed ‘goddess’– an ironic euphemism for her profession as a prostitute – is a classic of world cinema. It is a profoundly moving drama, all the more poignant by the fact that its star committed suicide at the age of 24, a year after the film’s release.
The Goddess (restored by the China Film Archive, supported by SAPPRFT, in association with the K T Wong Foundation and the BFI) premiers at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on October 14 at 19:30.
The KT Wong Foundation, in association with the BFI and China Film Archive (CFA), will screen a re-mastered version of classic Chinese silent film The Goddess this autumn at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank.
This exclusive UK premiere will take place on 14th October 2014 as part of the prestigious BFI London Film Festival – one of the world’s leading cinema events.
To celebrate this historic moment the KT Wong Foundation has commissioned a new musical score for The Goddess by Chinese composer Zou Ye. The evening screening of the film will therefore be accompanied live by the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Chalmers.
In 2014, the China Film Archive successfully completed the digital restoration of this film, which has since been shown at the Beijing International Film Festival with a live score performed by the Chinese Philharmonic Orchestra; as well as at the 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival and the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris.
The upcoming British premiere of The Goddess marks an important return to prominence for a film that was denounced as decadent when the Communist Party came to power.
The Goddess forms one part of a programme of 15 films selected by KT Wong Foundation, entitled Goddess, Martyr, Heroine: A Portrait of Women in Chinese Cinema. The programme will focus on the role of Chinese women over the last century, as shown though film. The full programme can be seen in Paris in November, and follows the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Sino-French diplomatic relations.
Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Supporter of the Foundation, Dies
We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Philippine de Rothschild, an extraordinary woman who broke through a male-dominated wine industry by carrying on the work of her father and helping to transform and modernise the wine industry. Château Mouton Rothschild is now one of the largest wineries in the world with vineyards on three continents.
But her legacy also lives on in the arts. “The Baroness”, as she was known to many, was also a very generous patron of the arts not just in France but throughout Europe. In 2012 she donated a large double magnum to be auctioned at the Royal Jockey Club’s Community Box Charity fetching a record breaking sum. In 2013 her legendary magnanimity extended to the KT Wong Foundation’s special dinner to celebrate the first PARSIFAL opera staged in China, by flying in a few dozen bottles of dozens of bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine – their top wine – from Hong Kong.
Another example of her dedication and love of the arts was the private dinner she held for Lang Lang in 2013 for his first performance in Bordeaux. The dinner at the beautiful chateau was crowned by the presentation of a Jeroboam (a bottle large enough to hold 6 regular bottles of wine) of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild – the year Lang Lang was born, and as it turns out one of the greatest years for vintages of the century!
These actions were typical of her generosity and she supported the foundation’s work many times since its founding. May she rest in peace.
Documentary about China’s Growth in Classical Music on BBC 4
“A Hundred Million Musicians: China’s Classical Challenge”, a BBC documentary co-commissioned by the KT Wong Foundation, airs on BBC Four at 21:15 on Sunday, July 27.
China is the fastest growing nation in history, an economic superpower, but it has cultural ambitions too and nowhere is this clearer than in its embrace of Western classical music.
Huge sums of government money have been poured into concert halls across the country and millions of young musicians, many of whom were inspired by the success of concert pianist Lang Lang are now competing to help fill them.
But how does a society that traditionally celebrates discipline and conformity adapt to the individualism and artistic freedom demanded by the music of Beethoven?
Contributors include Lang Lang, Daniel Barenboim, conductor of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Chinese musicians from Shanghai’s Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory as well as a new generation of aspiring classical musicians.
Two recent commissions have elevated the KT Wong Foundation’s output in original classical music to a new level with new pieces by both Qigang Chen and Zou Ye both debuting in 2014. The foundation commissioned leading composer Qigang Chen to write “Joie Eternelle” for renowned British trumpet player Alison Balsom, who performed the piece at the BBC Proms on 19th July 2014.
Born in Shanghai to a family of artists, Chen grew up during the tumultous times of the Cultural Revolution, eventually passing a test that allowed him to study abroad in 1977. At the age of 33 he arrived in Paris and became the last student of Olivier Messian, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.
Chen has since forged a successful career as one of China’s leading composers. In addition to writing hundreds of pieces for orchestras, he has worked with film director Zhang Yimou on various projects and was the music director of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.
The commissioned piece, which The Guardian has been described as “a haunting, timeless beauty”, has a distinct Chinese accent and is the first concert piece he wrote after he suffered the loss of his only son in 2008 in a car accident.
The foundation also commissioned acclaimed Chinese composer Zou Ye to write a new score for the remastered version of the classic, Chinese silent film “The Goddess” premiered at the Shanghai International Film Festival 2014. Music is integral to the identity and perception of the film. This new composition therefore is a contemporary response to an old classic masterpiece.
Zou Ye, born in 1957, in Henan Province, was from the first generation of film score composers from the Wuhan Music Conservatoire. He is best known for his collaboration with the fifth generation of filmmakers in China, such as Huang Jianzhong (Spring Festival, 1991) and Yin Li (The Knot, 2006).
Zou worked and lived through the most exciting development of the Chinese film industry since the early 1980s. He has composed over 100 productions for TV and films. In addition, Zou was the honorary composer-in-residence of one of China’s leading orchestras: the China Philharmonic Orchestra.
Proms interview appears in The Telegraph
A recent article in The Telegraph includes content from a recent interview with KT Wong Founder Lady Linda Davies about the China Philharmonic’s BBC Proms debut.
On July 18, a day before the China Philharmonic Orchestra’s debut at the BBC Proms, the KT Wong Foundation – a major sponsor of the orchestra’s Proms debut – hosted an exclusive dinner for Maestro Long Yu, composer Qigang Chen, president of the CPO Li Nan, esteemed guests and friends.
One of the most internationally renowned Chinese conductors today, Long Yu grew up during the Cultural Revolution, when Western classical music was banned. But he later won admission to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and, after working in Europe, founded the China Philharmonic in Beijing. Although neither Long nor the orchestra are strangers to Britain, Saturday’s concert was a historical, breakthrough moment for Chinese classical music: the CPO became the first Chinese orchestra ever to perform at the prestigious BBC Proms.
The concert also included the UK premiere of Joie Eternelle, a set of variations on a traditional Chinese melody for trumpet and orchestra, written for Alison Balsom by Qigang Chen, a renowned Shanghai-born, Paris-based composer and a pupil of Messiaen.
Photos of the exclusive dinner can be viewed on our Facebook page:
‘Thoughtful China’ – a weekly talk show about creative, media & business affairs in China – recently invited KT Wong Foundation founder Lady Linda Davies, on to the show to discuss her drive to build bridges and to initiate interaction between China and the West on a cultural level.
During the interview, Lady Davies talks to guest host Harry Hui about what inspired her to become a cultural ambassador between China and the West, the foundation’s key initiatives, China’s cultural ambitions and how Chinese enterprises can play a larger role in bridging Chinese art and culture with the rest of the world.
Saturday 19th July marks the China Philharmonic Orchestra’s BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall, launching this season’s global orchestras strand. Britain’s own queen of the trumpet, Alison Balsom, joins them in Shanghai-born Qigang Chen’s new trumpet concerto, a work co-commissioned by the KT Wong Foundation, China Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC, alongside Dutch and German partners. This is the first time ever that a Chinese orchestra has been invited to perform at the BBC Proms and it will be televised and broadcast over radio and the internet internationally.
This year the KT Wong Foundation is developing an Intern programme in partnership with the Aix Festival to offer opportunities for young people who aspire to work in the arts to be involved with the Festival.
The KT Wong Foundation’s key aim is to foster a mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world, working on collaborative cultural projects across performing and visual arts to explore and create dialogue around, world-leading art, both contemporary and traditional.
The purpose of this program is to enable young people with an interest in the arts to work with one of Europe’s major arts festivals to develop an understanding of the skill and expertise required to make and deliver high quality work both on stage and on film.
The opportiunities offered by the internships will include working with professional documentary filmmakers as they film 2 documentaries commissioned by the KT Wong Foundation, and to become involved in the making of Aix Festival’s opera projects, supporting the artists and technicians during this process.
These are excellent opportunities for young people to gain experience working with top professionals of both film and stage.
Documentary boost for AIX Festival
The KT Wong Foundation is commissioning two documentaries filmed by director Christian Leblé at the AIX Festival 2014. The first documentary is based around the staging of Handel’s Ariodante, whilst the second covers the German opera Trauernacht. This is a major boost for the festival and the foundations involvement as the finished documentaries will be screened in China later in the year, bringing Aix Festival preparations and performances to Chinese audiences for the first time.
The KTWong Foundation is proud to announce official support for two major productions at the Festival d’AIX en Provence 2014.
Beginning with opera director Richard Jones’ production of Handel’s Ariodante spanning 6 performances across the festival spanning 3rd-18th July. The foundation is also supporting Raphael Pinchon’s production of Trauernacht scheduled across 11th-19th July
The foundation also plans to bring Festival d’AIX productions to China later this year… watch this space!
The Goddess returns to Shanghai
The remastered version of the classic silent film, The Goddess, originally made in 1933 in Shanghai is to be shown at the 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival on June 15th.
Originally made at a time of political crisis within a divided China, booming attendances, and personal turmoil in the life of its star, actress Ruan Lingyu, The Goddess was dismissed as decadent by Chinese scholars during the Cultural Revolution. In 1935, after a trial for adultery and a humiliating media frenzy, the tragic heroine committed suicide. Her funeral drew 300,000 moruners across the city. These circumstances only served to fuel the film’s mystique over the years, and The Goddess has since been bestowed a place of great importance in China’s film history.
The Goddess was the first film by leftist writer-director Wu Yonggang, who continued to make films in China until 1981, despite being silenced from 1957 to 1962 and during the Cultural Revolution.
The Goddess remastered to be shown in Paris on 24th June 2014
The classic and newly remastered film, The Goddess, will be screened in Paris at La Cinémathèque Française on 24th June 2014, accompanied by a live orchestra playing a newly commissioned score by Chinese film composer Zou Ye.
This exclusive screening of the 1934 silent film masterpiece marks the beginning of an exciting season of classic Chinese cinema which will be held during October at the Cinémathèque.
Supported by the KT Wong Foundation and featuring a further 30 films spanning over 100 years of film making, the season is a unique collection of the great works of Chinese Cinema, focusing in particular on the changing roles of women in society and offering an extraordinary insight into the history of Chinese film making.
Foundation brings NT Live’s Coriolanus to Shanghai International Film Festival 2014
The KT Wong Foundation, in partnership with the Shanghai Grand Theatre, is bringing NT Live’s Coriolanus to the Shanghai International Film Festival on June 15th 2014.
The event is a screening of the Donmar Warehouse’s acclaimed production of Coriolanus, captured in London by National Theatre Live. Tom Hiddleston takes the title role in Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, directed by the Donmar’s Artistic Director, Josie Rourke.
This will be the first time ever NT Live’s Coriolanus will be screened in China, and KT Wong Foundation is proud of its partnership with the Shanghai Grand Theatre to be the first to bring it to Chinese audience.
‘Frankenstein’ returns for another sell-out Beijing screening
Following enormously popular sell-out screenings in Beijing in 2013 and 2013, the National Theatre Live production of Frankenstein returned to Beijing on 9th March, presented by the KT Wong Foundation. The critically-acclaimed production, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, enjoyed yet another sell-out showing and outstanding reception from Beijing cinema goers.
Directed by Danny Boyle and based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel, this new production of Frankenstein was adapted for the stage by Nick Dear. Following a five-star critical reception during its run at London’s National Theatre, the show has been seen by audiences across the globe through National Theatre Live screenings.
The Chinese premiere of Frankenstein, presented in June 2012 by the KT Wong Foundation, was a breakthrough for both China and the Foundation: the first time National Theatre Live has been brought to China and the first event of its kind in Beijing.
The KT Wong Foundation are proud to present Ole Scheeren’s Archipelago Cinema
On the 27th August 2012 the KT Wong Foundation presented Ole Scheeren’s Archipelago Cinema – a floating auditorium that formed part of the official selection of collateral projects in the 13th International Architecture Exhibition.
An evocative outdoor theatre located within the old harbour basin Darsena Grande of the Arsenale, Venice’s historic shipyard, Scheeren’s Archipelago Cinema was opened by Lady Davies
Archipelago Cinema was opened by Lady Davies who also presented the world premiere of acclaimed documentary maker, Horst Brandenburg’s ‘Against All Rules’ that explores the work and philosophy of German-born and Beijing-based architect Ole Scheeren.
Attending guests included the BBC’s creative director, Alan Yentob, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Martin Roth and Director of the Barbican, Sir Nicholas Kenyon.
The Foundation are delighted to be supporting Ole Scheeren’s Archipelago Cinema and the world premiere of Horst Brandenburg’s ‘Against All Rules’. As an architect working between China and the West, Scheereen’s pioneering vision complements the core ethos of the Foundation – to establish innovative cultural conversations between China and the rest of the world.
To read more about Ole Scheeren’s Archipelago Cinema, visit:
Lady Davies attends the Palazzo Polignac celebrating the 13th Architecture Biennale in Venice
The KT Wong Foundation is proud to announce In Conversation, a new and dynamic platform initiating critical, cross-cultural dialogue with leading figures from the international arts and cultural industries. The Foundation will host In Conversation exclusively here at ktwong.org; keep checking back for updates!
Martin Roth, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, In Conversation with Philip Dodd
Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, In Conversation with Philip Dodd
In Conversation with Nick Dear, Playwright, Author and Screen Writer
An evening in honour of Lang Lang
Lady Davies hosted an evening in honour of Lang Lang’s performance with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican Centre.
To celebrate both the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s residency at the Barbican this February, and its concert accompanying Lang Lang, Lady Davies and Barbican Director Nicholas Kenyon co-hosted an evening of festivities.
As a board member of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, Lady Davies continuously supports Lang Lang’s performances and the work of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation across the globe.
An evening in honour of Robert Wilson
An evening in honour of Robert Wilson to celebrateEinstein on the Beach at the Barbican Centre.
In May, the Barbican Centre in London presented the seminal production of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach.
To commemorate this remarkable occasion, Lady Davies hosted a dinner in honour of Robert Wilson with guests including Philip Glass, Bianca Jagger, Alan Yentob, Michael Waldman, Shaikha Paula al-Sabah and Nancy Negley.
‘Semele’ in Toronto
The Foundation brings NT Live and Frankenstein to Beijing
This June, audiences in Beijing had their first opportunity to watch Danny Boyle’s critically acclaimed Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.
The KT Wong Foundation joined forces with National Theatre Live to facilitate two exclusive screenings of this hugely successful production in Chinese from 29 June – 30 June at the Beijing MOMA Broadway Cinema, the first and only art cinema in China.
These screenings marked a breakthrough for both China and the Foundation: the first time National Theatre Live has been brought to China and the first event of its kind in Beijing.
Featuring as a highlight during this summer’s UK Now Festival, the dynamic collaboration promises to further strengthen cross-cultural collaboration between China and the West, which has been the aim of KT Wong Foundation since it was established in 2007.
Directed by Danny Boyle, and based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel, this new production of Frankenstein was adapted for the stage by Nick Dear.
Both versions of the ‘five star’ stage production will be screened, allowing Chinese audiences to view Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating the roles of Victor Frankenstein and The Creature. In addition, Nick Dear will be taking part in pre-show discussions before both performances.
Lang Lang takes to the stage at Latitude Festival
Lady Davies and Lang Lang cheer on China at the Olympic Opening Ceremony
Watch highlights from the premiere of Noye’s Fludde
Noye’s Fludde to feature at the 15th Beijing Music Festival
The KT Wong Foundation are delighted to announce their dynamic co-production of Benjamin Britten’s children’s opera Noye’s Fludde is to appear at the 15th Beijing Music Festival.
In addition to the production itself, Noye’s Fludde’s star conductor Nicholas Chalmers will also lead a one off masterclass exploring the score behind Britten’s extraordinary children’s Opera.
The Beijing production of Noye’s fludde will feature as part of the UK Now Festival formally announced by the Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP to showcase the very best of British talent in China.
Lady Linda Wong Davies and the BBC proudly present – Imagine…Do or Die: Lang Lang’s Story
Tonight, the story of Chinese pianist Lang Lang will be broadcast on BBC ONE as part of the ‘Imagine’ series. Do or Die: Lang Lang’s Story, has been executive produced by Lady Linda Wong Davies together with Alan Yentob and Jan Younghusband.
In the film, Yentob examines Lang Lang’s life and career from child prodigy to global phenomenon. With a growing popularity that reaches far beyond traditional classical audiences, he has redefined the idea of the celebrity concert pianist.
His ability to connect with a younger generation has played a significant role in inspiring more than 40 million Chinese to take up the piano.
Lady Linda Wong Davies would like to thank the BBC, Alpenglow Trust and Steve Abbott for their support.
Watch on BBC One | Sky and Virgin Chanel 101 and online at BBC Iplayer
Lady Davies attends the Palazzo Polignac celebrating the 13th Architecture Biennale in Venice
The Foundation and the National Theatre present the second screening of Frankenstein in China
The Foundation are delighted to announce the second screening of the National Theatre’sFrankenstein in China.
Featuring on the 2nd December 2012 at the Shanghai Grand Theatre, this second screening follows Frankenstein’s Chinese debut, earlier in the year in Beijing. An immediate sell out, the Beijing screenings generated unprecedented press and social media coverage and quickly became the most talked about theatre event on Weibo.
A breakthrough for both China and the Foundation: Through the Foundation’s partnership with the National Theatre, these screenings offer Chinese audiences unparalleled access to the very best from British Theatre.
Featuring as part of this years UK Now Festival, the dynamic collaboration promises to further strengthen cross-cultural collaboration between China and the West, which has been the aim of KT Wong Foundation since it was established in 2007.
Directed by Danny Boyle, and based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel, this new production of Frankenstein was adapted for the stage by Nick Dear and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.