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Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Dedicates the 2016 Music in the Summer Air (MISA) to the 'Swinging Sixties'

Jun 02, 2016

SHANGHAI, June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Founded by Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and hosted by Shanghai People's Government of Xuhui District, Shanghai People's Government of Huangpu District, Radio and Television Shanghai and Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group, the 2016 Music in the Summer Air (MISA) festival has officially released this year's program that changes the public's perception of serious classical music in concert halls with an energetic and youth-oriented selection of music.

MISA has always focused on bringing crossover works and cultural diversity to the music festival to set it apart from the classical and formal program of traditional concert halls and appeal to the interests of the youth of today.

MISA has successfully gained a broad young audience from different cultural backgrounds and with different interests in recent years by introducing major productions like the Star Wars Trilogy and 3D Rite of Spring. For them, MISA is also restoring art to its original purpose of expression and enjoyment amid today's eager pursuit of amusement and entertainment. The young MISA is the summertime music carnival that really belongs to the young people.

"MISA has 'zero threshold'; you don't ever need to worry about not understanding the concerts or falling asleep, because everyone can find their own joy here. Even if you are just coming to watch a music film, it's so relaxed and agreeable," said one loyal MISA fan that attends the festival every summer.

'Rocket' programs for lowest ticket price to date

This year's two-week MISA will be hosted from July 2 to 15 at Shanghai Symphony Hall and Shanghai Urban Music Lawn. With the theme 'Swinging Sixties', the 21 concerts to be staged combine classical and contemporary music to deliver a unique experience fusing music with fashion, film, visual art and even technology, crossing musical boundaries to create a retrospect of the cultural waves of the 1960s and 1970s that influenced the later ages.

Legendary singer Jane Birkin will join SSO at the Gainsbourg Symphonic Concert on July 9, Thierry Balasse will present brand new interpretations of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon on July 5, and 13 Most Beautiful…Songs from Andy Warhol's Screen Tests will be brought together with an experimental folk music and project display inspired by the pop artist on July 13.

In the meantime, MISA's very own orchestra-in-residence the New York Philharmonic, violinist Gil Shaham, leading percussionist Martin Grubinger, Japanese director Shunji Iwai and his ensemble, and Turkish composer and pianist Fazil Say will join the music festival to ignite the most exciting moments of this summer.

In the face of high ticket prices over the years, despite the lineup of many international stars and multimedia productions, this year's MISA has revealed the most overturning pricing plan to date - all performances are priced at RMB100, RMB150 and RMB300.

The RMB100 and 150 tickets make up 70 percent of all tickets available. These tickets are also not seated by number for the first time, giving the audience the opportunity to arrive early and sit freely to enjoy the concerts. Shanghai Symphony Hall's concert hall will divide three zones, only the RMB300 tickets will be seated by number.

The five highlighted concerts at the outdoor venue Shanghai Urban Music Lawn will open to the public for free, giving everyone the chance to enjoy performances by some of the best musicians like Grubinger free of charge.

To attract more young concert attendees, students from universities, high schools and middle schools in Shanghai can purchase tickets to all concerts at RMB80 as well as enjoy express channels to enter the free outdoor performances.

RMB80 tickets for all students, MISA builds second classroom for students with interactive activities

A vibrant and youthful music festival should not rest on building the relationship solely between audience and performer, but also encourage people to go behind the scenes. MISA is an interactive platform for young people to step into the music and art world where one can be a member of the audience, an artist on stage, a volunteer at the frontline or a journalist telling the stories of the festival, everyone can find his or her own "role" at MISA.

Exchange a 3D movie ticket for an unforgettable art experience.

The 2016 MISA will also see the first Shanghai International Youth Arts Festival under the guidance of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, a festival-within-a-festival dedicated exclusively to students. Students holding student ID cards of all full-time schools in Shanghai can purchase unlimited number of tickets to any concerts at RMB80, including the New York Philharmonic, Shunji Iwai and Shaham's concerts.

Students become artists on stage.

When young audiences walk into the concert hall, they may find that the performers are their peers. After months of highly competitive selections, 59 student performers age between 10 and 18 will form the first MISA student ensemble and debut at Shanghai Symphony Hall after the 10-day professional training during MISA. Young musicians will be evaluated and grouped every year to form the future student ensembles.
Professional musicians join hands with young composers.

SSO is also collaborating with New York Philharmonic to establish the first composition workshop, selecting six young composers without professional background to write six pieces of music for New York Philharmonic to perform at a special concert after a training camp in July. Meanwhile, three Nordic musicians will cooperate with local Shanghai musicians to recruit 50 students to improvise and rehearse in just three days before going on stage and interact with the audiences to explore the infinite possibilities of art education.

Dream stage showcases students' talents. The three student ensembles formed by MISA – Shanghai Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Youth Choir and Shanghai Youth Chinese Orchestra, will perform during the festival to demonstrate high artistic level and good spirit. The Shanghai MISA International Youth Music Summer Camp is committed to international youth exchange and hosts one special concert every year that makes up the most beautiful scene on MISA stage. Members of the Alliance of Shanghai Student Symphony Orchestra will also participate in MISA through performances and educational activities.

First career experience on MISA's big stage.

Youth volunteers of MISA will be providing directions for audiences, giving reception to artists or working as journalists to record every memorable moment on the spot to finish their first work experience. Hundreds of student volunteers have responded actively to the volunteer recruitment since April to devote themselves to the new MISA festival.

Big names from the music industry to ruminate crossover with ceaseless artistic experiments on the 'Swinging Sixties'

Under the theme 'Swinging Sixties', fashion muse Jane Birkin, legendary rock band Pink Floyd and father of pop art Andy Warhol are crossing the boundaries of music, fashion, visual art and technology through a series of cross-over experiments at this year's MISA.

'New Yorker' builds 'Shanghai Dream'. At the opening concert, the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert will perform the worldwide debut of The Light of Summer co-commissioned by SSO and New York Philharmonic.

The 'New Yorkers' will pay tribute to the great maestro Pierre Boulez, former director of the New York Philharmonic who passed away in January 2016. The concert will be joined by Russian pianist and Tchaikovsky Competition winner Daniil Trifonov.

Renowned violinist Gil Shaham will team up with visual artist David Michalek to re-interpret Bach through a visual dreamland created by multimedia.

The New York Philharmonic will also stage a Charlie Chaplin's City Lights silent film concert that playbacks Chaplin's timeless humor. The musicians from New York will then transform into urban adventurers at the young people's concert, performing Peter and the Wolf as well as selections from Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks with the narration by Mark Rowswell (Dashan), the Canadian celebrity best known for his mastery of mandarin.

Last season, the New York Philharmonic brought their education brand with 100 years of history and inspired Chinese art education practitioners. This year, they will witness the birth and growth of the "modern Mozart" at the special concert of composition workshop.

The New York Philharmonic musicians' spare time in Shanghai also attracts much outside attention, the orchestra has expressed their wish to have an in-depth experience of the Shanghai city life. During MISA, the musicians from both New York Philharmonic and SSO will have authentic Shanghai breakfasts with music fans to chat about music and experience folk culture.

'Swinging Sixties' and the avant-garde pioneers. At the 2016 MISA, fashion muse Jane Birkin's arrival is enough to cause a stir, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon will be recreated by the avant-garde experiment, Andy Warhol's Screen Tests will wake up 13 most beautiful minds under the interpretation of folk singer, Japanese director Shunji Iwai and his Hec & Pascal ensemble will show his romantic soul, and passionate percussionist Martin Grubinger is about to rock the stage with his own band.

Invited commission by the east and west to convey the Chinese sentiments. The closing concert of this year's MISA will encourage a dialogue on art between the east and west. Commissioned by MISA, Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say has written the piano concerto China Impressions, which he will perform the world premiere in person. The concert will also feature three works by Chinese composer Zou Ye, including the symphonic overture Hunting Tigers Up in the Mountains adapted from the Chinese opera, Dock Memories as well as Western & Peking Opera Arias.

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Dedicates the 2016 Music in the Summer Air (MISA) to the 'Swinging Sixties'

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