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20th Macau International Music Festival PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 06 July 2006

Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau SAR Government Press Release, 06 July 2006

20th MACAU INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL

Two decades at the sound of the MIMF

The Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau SAR Government presents the 20th Macau International Music Festival (MIMF) from 6 October to 5 November 2006.

The 20th anniversary of the MIMF is celebrated with a touch of romanticism. Jazz, classical, electronica, Chinese folk-pop, rock and fado will fill Macau's autumn nights with magic. The eclectic programme of 28 performances promises to delight Macau audiences, accustomed to the festival's annual offering of the best music from all over the world.

Two decades of history have made the MIMF a tradition throughout Asia. Such noble Macau venues as the Dom Pedro V Theatre and the Lou Lim Ieoc Garden have received many indelible names in the arts. In 1989 Alfredo Kraus and Jennifer Smith, and in 1990 Christa Ludwig and Teresa Berganza put Macau on the bel canto map. Sˆhndor Vˆmgh and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie gave an unforgettable performance in Taipa the following year, and more recently, the great Chinese composer Tan Dun left his mark on the St. Paul's Ruins. Among the notable Portuguese artists, names like Carlos Paredes, Sequeira Costa, Maria Joćo and Mˆhrio Laginha, and the Gulbenkian Chorus, Orchestra and Ballet shine brightly.

With such a rich tradition, the 20th MIMF can't help but open with an extra dose of the romantic. The Chinese prodigy Lang Lang blows out the first of twenty candles from the piano bench at the Macau Cultural Centre, playing concertos by the melodic Chopin and the extravagant Tchaikovsky. The Macau Orchestra joins the festivities under the leadership of two of the region's most important conductors, Pang Ka Pang and En Shao. The lyric expression continues on the same stage with an ambitious concert by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne on 7 October, marking the return of large ensembles to the MIMF stage.

Amid the magical ambience of the Mount Fortress venue, the popular French pianist Richard Clayderman charms the public with his romantic classics and later courts the ladies of Feng Huang, who return his affection with Chinese tradition.

Following the tryst between Europe and China in the nostalgic Mount Fortress, one of this year's preferred venues, New York's Shanghai Quartet diversifies the exchange with a universal encounter between the music of East and West. The performance will warm another of Macau's historical settings, the Dom Pedro V Theatre (10 October), the very same stage to which the legendary voice of Carlos do Carmo returns to echo the fado tradition. For two incredible nights the singer who knows better than anyone how to rekindle the Portuguese spirit will light the fuse of saudade in the hearts of Macau's multicultural audience.

The best of fado and Portuguese rock

This year the Cultural Affairs Bureau invested in great names in Portuguese music, and rock band Xutos e Pontapˆms complete the deal. Last year they celebrated their silver anniversary with O Mundo ao Contrˆhrio (The World Upside-Down) and they ring in another year with a voyage to Macau. New and old favourites celebrate the return of the legendary Portuguese band on 27 October.

Before Xutos e Pontapˆms present their Circo de Feras (Circus of Beasts) at Nam Van Lake, opera elevates the tone of the festival to its most romantic. For three nights in the Cultural Centre (13, 14 and 15 October) two tales of love-triangles full of intrigue are told in song. Mascagani”¦s Cavalleria Rusticana is the keystone of the verismo style, and Rugero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci is its twin companion on stage, filled with the same Italian passion.

Musica Antiqua Cologne (16 October) lights up the Dom Pedro V Theatre with their genuine interpretation of Baroque music.

The electronics of Sakamoto in pure form

The more modern sounds of electronica are added to the classics of the MIMF. It is with the music of Insen that Ryuichi Sakamoto makes his Macau debut on 18 October. He is joined by another musical scientist, the young German Alva Noto, and they fill the Mount Fortress with the celestial sounds of their lounge laboratory.

Seven soloists, three orchestras and four choirs will make Nam Van Lake overflow with joy on 20 October. Musicians from Macau, the Mainland and Taiwan will shake the entire city with the grandeur of Gustav Mahler's "Symphony of a Thousand", written near the turn of the last century.

The Macau Chinese Orchestra holds Hong Kong's Canto pop star Paula Tsui in its arms for three nights at the Cultural Centre (22, 23 and 24 October), in a concert that guarantees a heady dose of Chinese nostalgia. The Orchestra sends five of their best musicians back to the stage on 19 October.

The curtains of the MIMF open on the festive Divertimento Berlin as well, whose musicians hail from the renowned Berlin Philharmonic and Berlin Opera orchestras. Not excluded from the celebration are the Batavia Madrigal Singers, from Indonesia, who perform alone on 24 October and later join forces with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa to honour another celebration, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-2006).

A happy ending with Guys and Dolls

Jazz enters among the ranks of the MIMF genres with the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra, liberating that intense creative fervour so often consigned to the privacy of the musician's studio. This musical intimacy is shared on 26 October at the Mount Fortress, which two days later will host four Chinese bands who revive their regional traditions in the pop and rock idioms of today.

Chamber music ventures away from the classics of the MIMF in the concert of the Vienna Symphony Virtuosi (30 October). The Austrian ensemble offers the poetry of Johann Strauss, Mozart and Hummel on the Dom Pedro V Theatre stage, only to charm audiences in the second half with the jazz smooth talk of Cole Porter and Claude Bolling.

The MIMF closes with one of the greatest of all Broadway musicals. The 1950 production Guys and Dolls will draw the final burst of applause in two decades of festival tradition. The story of Miss Sarah Brown and the gambler Sky Masterson finds an ideal setting in Macau, providing a very happy ending to the celebrations of the Cultural Affairs Bureau.

Workshops and conferences on the events will be held to promote public interest and participation in the arts. As in previous years”¦ festivals, rehearsals for some shows will be open to the public.

Tickets for the 20th Macau International Music Festival will be available after 10am on 23 July 2006 at all Kong Seng Ticketing outlets. Online and telephone reservations will be available from 4pm on the same day. A variety of discount plans is offered. Detailed publicity materials are available at the ticket counters.

For more information please visit the website of the Cultural Affairs Bureau at:www.icm.gov.mo

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 July 2006 )
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