iSING! Suzhou & The Philadelphia Orchestra to Present ‘Echoes of Ancient Tang Poems’

By David Salazar

iSING! Suzhou and The Philadelphia Orchestra are set to present “Echoes of Ancient Tang Poems” in Celebration of Lunar New Year on Jan. 6 and 7, 2023.

The showcase, compromised of settings to ancient Chinese lyrical texts, will feature by such composers as Huanzhi Li, Maishuo Luo, Sam Wu, Tomàs Peire, Xiao Su, Fernando Buide del Real, Conrad Asman, Cong Wei, Nicholas Bentz, Evan Mack, Tongyan Chen, Cynthia Lee Wong, Evan Mack, Jiao Zhang, Leishuo Ye, and Roydon Hoi Chak Tsel; all the composers were selected from the 2020 iSING! Composition Competition.

“I was initially worried about being able to connect both historically and culturally,” said Fernando Buide del Real in an official press statement. “But I soon realized Tang poetic  sentiments are universal and transcend geographical boundaries. During the COVID lockdown, I found resonance in Wang Bo’s poem about friendship, loneliness, and separation. The precision and depth of the Chinese language is astounding. Every character and phrase is filled with meaning.”

Performers include sopranos Holly Flack, Deborah Solange Martinez, Raquel Suarez Groen, Paula Malagón, Esther Maureen Kelly, Milica Jovcic, and Juliet Petrus; mezzo-soprano Melisa Bonetti; tenors Thomas Glenn and Kyle Tomlin; baritones Ihor Mostovoi, José Rubio, Valdis Jansons, and Lewei Wang; and bass Wei Wu.

The event aims to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 1973 tour of China, the first by an American ensemble. Since then, The Philadelphia Orchestra has returned to China 12 times; no other American orchestra has toured China more times since.

The January 6 performance will take place at Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall in Philadelphia, while the latter showcase is set to take place at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

There will also be an Asia Society Panel Discussion on the genesis of the showcase scheduled for Dec. 8, 2022.