The Taipei Symphony Orchestra (TSO) — which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season as a forceful musical presence known for its breadth of programming, extensive international appearances, and commitment to cultural diplomacy — is embarking on a three-concert US tour to Washington, DC and Atlanta from Nov. 14 to 17.
First up on Nov. 14 is a free recital at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art. Leading TSO players will perform chamber music by Felix Mendelssohn and Nikolai Tcherepnin as well as arrangements of traditional music from Taiwan. The chamber group led by the orchestra's concertmaster Chiang Chih-i (姜智譯) will encompass bass clarinet, cello, clarinet, double bass, horn, viola, and violin.
Next up on Nov. 15 is a ticketed performance at the Music Center at Strathmore. The program's centerpiece, Gordon Chin's (金希文) poetic Double Concerto, will feature the prodigious talent of two Taiwan-born, US-based virtuosi — Paul Huang (黃俊文), a winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and a cherished presence on the Washington Performing Arts season, and Felix Fan (范雅志), the relentlessly creative, cross-disciplinary cellist and member of the Flux Quartet for whom this concerto was written.
The two DC concerts will be presented in cooperation with Washington Performing Arts and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US. The first night will be held against the backdrop of an animated film on Taiwanese landscapes from the Taipei Fine Arts Museum collection, while the second night will see Jahja Ling (林望傑) on the podium. He is widely credited as an orchestra-builder who led the now-thriving San Diego Symphony to great renown as its music director.
Rounding up the US tour is the Nov. 17 program in Atlanta, where conductor Ling, violinist Huang, and cellist Fan will also present Chin's Double Concerto, along with classics by Leonard Bernstein and Johannes Brahms, at Georgia State University's Rialto Center for the Arts. The musical feast shall serve as tribute to the 40th anniversary of Atlanta and Taipei's sister cityhood.