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: