Paris, June 19 (CNA) The Taipei Chinese Orchestra (TCO) concluded its European tour on Tuesday at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris with a packed program that blended traditional Chinese and Taiwanese folk music with a contemporary spirit.
Conducted by Chung Yiu-kwong, the TCO's acclaimed general director, the 80-member orchestra put on well-received shows in Manchester, England on June 15 and Germany's Hannover on June 17, as well as in the French capital.
The orchestra, which was accompanied by the world-famous Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie throughout the tour, began its Paris program with "The Joyful Spring" and "Wind Through the Pines," two popular Taiwanese folk tunes.
These numbers were followed by "Elegance,"performed by Lee Chih-chun on the liuqin and yangqin, both stringed instruments, and the dizi, a Chinese flute.
The first half of the concert closed with "Portrait of Taiwanese Opera," which was performed by Wang Ming-yu using the ke zai xian and da guang xian, the two main string instruments used in traditional Taiwanese opera.
The second half of the concert began with the full orchestra performing a concerto based on three poems by Sonja Huang: "Lament of the Moon," "I Believe" and "Heading For." The concerto was written by Chung especially for the 2009 Summer Deaflympics held in Taipei.
The TCO's scheduled program concluded with Tan Dun's "Northwest Suite," but the orchestra went on to perform two encores of Taiwanese folk songs, "Spring Breeze" and "Dew Dew Dong Ah," to satisfy the enthusiastic audience that contained many expat Taiwanese.
The orchestra, which has represented Taiwan in over 20 nations in Asia, Europe and the Americas, has scheduled its next tour of Europe for 2015.
(By Luo Yuan-shao and I-Ling Chen)