Star violinist to perform the 'Butterfly Lovers' popular with millions in China, but 'virtually unknown' in the West
WHO: Internationally celebrated violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou
WHAT: Live concert recording of Chinese classical music with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
WHERE: Cadogan Hall
WHEN: Pre-concert interviews Oct.21-22 or attendance at Oct. 23 concert, 7pm
LONDON, Oct. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- There will be a moment in her Oct. 23 concert when violinist superstar Yi-Jia Susanne Hou anticipates most Chinese in the audience will be teary -- the musical moment, when two lovers, in China's version of Romeo and Juliet, must part.
"It is truly that powerful," said the Chinese-Canadian virtuoso. "Even I have to choke back the tears as I play it."
The piece is 'Butterfly Lovers,' and Ms. Hou's solo violin is the voice of Yin, or "Juliet." She will record it live with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday night at Cadogan Hall.
"Untold millions of people in China know and love this story and its music. It's arguably the most popular violin concerto in the world."
Leading the orchestra will be grammy-winning conductor John Nelson: "The concert's significance is huge because we have the most famous Chinese violin concerto, virtually unknown in the West, being played by a Chinese virtuoso and one of the great western orchestras."
Hou's last recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto was also made in the U.K. with the London Symphony Orchestra. Sunday's concert will be the start of a multi-country tour with Ms. Hou and the Royal Philharmonic, including stops in Canada and China.
The love story
The Chinese concerto, written for a western orchestra but with many Chinese melodies, is based on a fourth-century ill-fated romantic tale written in the Jin dynasty.
A teenage girl named Yin dresses up as a boy to go to school. She falls in love with her 'Romeo' classmate Bo, but does not reveal her true identify.
And just like in the Shakespearean classic, this love tale turns sour. Yin's father promises her hand in marriage to a wealthy man's son. So she decides to tell Bo the truth about herself and her love, before she leaves him.
Confused and heartbroken, Bo falls ill and dies.
On the day of Yin's wedding, she visits Bo's grave, begging the heavens to take her too. A lighting strikes Bo's tomb, and she throws herself in to her death. Flying out of their tomb: two loving butterflies.
The love story was set to music in the early 1960s at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where Ms. Hou's mother and father, Alec and Yvonne Hou, both elite violinists now in their seventies, met and fell in love.
After Yi-Jia Susanne Hou was born, the family moved to Canada to raise and train her. She eventually schooled at the Juilliard, and now performs concerts worldwide.
"It's a universally powerful story of forbidden love. It transcends time, cultures," said Ms. Hou.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Managing Director, James Williams says the violinist has a "remarkable reputation which is sure to flourish in her performance of the mythical Chinese tale Butterfly Lovers."
Tickets can be obtained from Cadogan Hall's website.
The musician will also perform on a rare $8-million USD violin: a 1739 Guarneri del Gesu.
Ms. Hou's tour comes with a global educational initiative to nurture young artists.
Concert: Oct.23, 7pm - request to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org
Broadcast HD video of rehearsal available Saturday on Dropbox.
Sunday, Oct.23 concert footage available on a Dropbox late Sunday / Monday am.
Photo credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
Concert photos and audio available upon request.
SOURCE Talent Story