The 14-day Festival features leading soloists including Daniel Ottensamer and Xuefei Yang alongside musicians from the New York Philharmonic, plus the world premiere of a new work by Tan Dun

7 – 20 July 2023

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has today announced its 14th annual Music in the Summer Air Festival (MISA) which returns in full force for the first time since the pandemic. The line-up features established artists and ensembles alongside up-and-coming talent both from China and further afield who will perform live concerts across the 14-day Festival. The diverse programme ranges from core classical music through to contemporary classical works from composers such as Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Fay Kueen Wang. Three performances will be livestreamed on the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra’s YouTube channel for international audiences to enjoy, including the opening concert on 7 July with SSO conducted by Jin Yukuang, the Clarinet Trio chamber concert with Daniel Ottensamer, Christoph Traxler and Stephan Koncz on 8 July, and Cellisimo – a concert featuring 12 cellists from SSO and the Shanghai Orchestra Academy – on 10 July.

Jaguar Shanghai Symphony Hall – Concert Hall
The Festival opens with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra – conducted by Jin Yukuang – performing works by Fay Kueen Wang, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Elliot Leung and Gustav Holst in its home, the Jaguar Shanghai Symphony Hall [7 July]. For the first time since 2019, MISA welcomes the return of musicians from the New York Philharmonic, who perform a chamber concert [8 July] in addition to a side-by-side chamber concert with musicians from the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and students from the Shanghai Orchestra Academy, an educational initiative created by both orchestras [12 July].

As part of their China tour, acclaimed Italian ensemble I Musici take to the stage to perform a programme that pairs The Four Seasons by Vivaldi alongside Verdi’s version [9 July]. American conductor David Stern conducts the SSO and violinist Rino Yoshimoto in a performance of Brahms’ Violin Concerto [14 July] and SSO’s Music Director Long Yu conducts the SSO, pianist Yin Chengzong for Chengzong’s arrangement of Xian Xinghai’s The Yellow River [20 July].

Alongside performances by internationally-renowned artists and ensembles, MISA also creates performance opportunities for up-and-coming talent in Shanghai, with concerts by the Shanghai Youth Philharmonic Orchestra [10 July], Shanghai Student Chinese Orchestra [11 July] and the Shanghai Youth Choir [13 July], in addition to a League of Shanghai Youth Orchestras concert on 12 July and the MISA Students Ensemble concert on 16 July.

Jaguar Shanghai Symphony Hall – Chamber Hall
The MISA chamber music programme is opened by Daniel Ottensamer – Principal clarinettist of the Vienna Philharmonic – performs a programme of clarinet trios alongside Christoph Traxler and Stephan Koncz, who both perform regularly with Ottensamer as part of Philharmonix: The Vienna Berlin Music Club [8 July]. Wang Xiaoming – Principal violinist of the Zurich Opera House – is joined by Huang Yameng for a violin recital [9 July] and 12 cellists from SSO – Cellissimo SSO – take to the stage to perform arrangements of opera areas alongside works by Gershwin, Chopin, Piazzolla and Liszt all arranged for the ensemble by Sungmin Ahn [10 July]. World-renowned guitarist Xuefei Yang performs her Sketches of China programme (some of which is featured on her 2020 Decca album) alongside pipa player Ying Sun and Yu Zheng on the drum [20 July]

Other chamber highlights include the Zhu Mang Jazz Quintet [14 July] and a trilogy of East Meets West concerts, one of which includes the world premiere of a new commission by Tan Dun [15 July]. These concerts feature the Chinese drum, sheng, pipa and dizi alongside Western orchestral instruments and the programmes feature works by both Western and Chinese composers.

Outside the concert hall
MISA is also hosting some events at TRI, an experimental music and performing space in Shanghai. This includes vocalist, composer and orchestrator Fay Kueen Wang’s Chamber Music Theatre, featuring the Neo-Classica Quartet, Zhang Meng (guqin), Mo Mo (cello), Ryan Wang (piano), Elliot Zon (bass/drums) and Fu Yifei (percussion) [11 July]. The second show at TRI will feature UK-based percussionists Delia Stevens and Le Yu – also known together as the Aurora Percussion Duo [19 July].

The Festival also returns with its Urban Music Lawn, an outdoor stage which hosts free performances throughout MISA. Performers include I Musici with Fabio Furia on bandoneon [8 July], Ignite Vocal Band [9 July], China Music House led by Gao Bowen and Lu Jinhua [11 July], Gentle Pie Brass Quintet [12 July], Drum Casper [13 July] and Lie Haiying with the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra Chorus [15 July]. These performances give people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy live music in a relaxed environment.