Shanghai: Day 5

6th May 2013

Our final full day in Shanghai included two concerts.  The first was a stunning performance of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, performed by the endlessly versatile Max Baillie (pictured above out and about in Shanghai, and appearing here as a violinst rather than in usual Aurora role as Principal Viola), Timothy Orpen (clarinet), Sarah McMahon (cello) and John Reid (piano).

The main evening orchestral concert was introduced by a conversation between Sara Mohr-Pietsch, Gillian Moore, Julian Johnson, and Oliver Coates (Aurora’s Principal Cello and soloist for Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1).  As has become customary for the various talks and conversations this week, the hall was packed!

Alongside the Shostakovich, the evening concert included music by Bernstein (the West Side Story Symphonic Dances in Iain Farrington’s arrangement for chamber orchestra), Ligeti’s virtuosic Melodien, Thomas Ades setting of three studies by Couperin, and Chinese composer Huang Ruo’s Folk Songs for Orchestra (which brought the house down!).

It’s been a truly wonderful week here in Shanghai – thanks to our generous hosts at the Shanghai Concert Hall and to Southbank Centre for making possible this extraordinary project.  We leave you with some beautiful photos from violist Meghan Cassidy (who also took the shot of Max at the top of this post) which capture some of the vibrant colours of a memorable week.