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Russian Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra' Chongqing Debut Thrills Audience

By YAN DENG|Sep 18,2023

Chongqing - On the evening of September 17th, the Chongqing Grand Theatre was abuzz with excitement as the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra concert ended. Conductor Denis Lotoev, with a smile on his face, and the entire orchestra received a standing ovation from the audience. 

Russian Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra debuted in Chongqing on the evening of September 17th at the Chongqing Grand Theatre. (Photo/Zheng Yu)

The Chongqing music enthusiasts expressed their gratitude to the artists who had come from afar with applause and cheers. The world-renowned Russian orchestra treated the Chongqing audience to a magnificent night of classical music.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest classical composers in the world, is a prominent figure in Russian national music and is often referred to as the "soul of Russian music." His works are well-known in China, and this year marks the 130th anniversary of Tchaikovsky's passing. His compositions are deeply intertwined with his life experiences and emotions.

Russian Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra debuted in Chongqing on the evening of September 17th at the Chongqing Grand Theatre. (Photo/Zheng Yu)

While Tchaikovsky's works are often associated with melancholy, sentimentality, and pessimism, it is undeniable that his music is characterized by passion, sincerity, and profound lyricism.

The orchestra performed Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony in the concert's first half. This symphony was the first to win the composer's international acclaim and is the most varied of all his symphonies. It portrays the anguish and despair of humanity and the menacing grip of fate, leaving the listeners with a sense of melancholy.

The second half featured Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, often called his "Fate Symphony," with the recurring "fate" theme throughout. This composition reflects the influence of social change and personal experiences on Tchaikovsky's creative thinking. It weaves between the beauty and aspirations brought by dreams and the cold indifference and disappointment of reality. The brilliant and vibrant final movement shines a light on yearning and hope, evoking deep emotions.

A concert consisting of two substantial symphonic works, lasting approximately two hours, is a rare treat on the stage in Chongqing. 

With its exquisite skills and expressiveness, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra from Russia refreshed the experience for music enthusiasts in Chongqing. Tchaikovsky's unique melodic beauty, intricate structure, and beautiful orchestral techniques transported the audience between reality and dreams.

"The interpretation by the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra not only showcased the profound beauty but also revealed the struggles and conflicts of fate through the pieces' most challenging and skillful passages. It was delicate and powerful, with a magnetic quality. This is a true representation of the 'Russian style' of musical performance," said Liu Qin, a music enthusiast who has attended symphony concerts in several countries in Europe and America. 

She added, "Opportunities to hear such pure classical music at our doorstep are rare, and the entire performance was like the flowing Yangtze River next to the theater, full of highlights and radiance."

"This evening's performance of Tchaikovsky's Fourth and Fifth symphonies was chosen after extensive consultation with music enthusiasts," said He Wen, General Manager of Chongqing Grand Theatre. 

High-quality international cultural exchanges help enhance Chongqing's cultural influence as a global metropolis. More than 60 percent of the projects introduced by Chongqing Grand Theatre each year are international performances. He added, "Tonight's performance also demonstrates that Chongqing's music enthusiasts have a high level of musical literacy."

"This is the first time that Chongqing has hosted a performance by a world-renowned orchestra since the full recovery of the cultural and tourism market. Such high-standard artistic experiences bring happiness to music enthusiasts," said Liu Man, Director of Chongqing Grand Theatre Children's Philharmonic Choir. Symphony music is the crown jewel of classical music, and performances by renowned orchestras and pieces help raise public awareness of classical music and elevate the city's cultural taste. She concluded, "Elegant art is not distant or mysterious; it is worth more people's appreciation."

"Bringing two of Tchaikovsky's classics to Chongqing, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, with its authentic Russian classical music tradition, represents both a dialogue between East and West cultures and the practical significance of a shared human destiny," praised Liu Guangyu, Chairman of the Chongqing Music Association, Director of the Chongqing Opera House, and Conductor of the Chongqing Symphony Orchestra. 

He emphasized that this performance was a silent and elegant way to promote high-quality art, and he looks forward to introducing more world-class orchestras to Chongqing to draw wisdom and strength from cultural exchanges and mutual learning.


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