International music tour
UD violinist Xiang Gao performs with Michigan band in tour of U.S., China
8:53 a.m., May 19, 2011--Xiang Gao, professor of music at the University of Delaware and internationally renowned violinist, is touring the United States and China with the University of Michigan Symphony Band under the director of conductor Michael Haithcock.
The tour started in Ann Arbor on May 5 and will end on May 29 with a concert presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Making Delaware home
In between are stops in China at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Shanghai Grand Theatre in Shanghai and Xi’an Concert Hall in Xi’an.
Also, performances are scheduled May 19 at Liaoning University and May 20 at Shenyang Normal University, both in Shenyang; May 22 at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing; May 23 at Tianjin Concert Hall in Tianjin and May 24 at Renmin University in Beijing.
Music being performed on the tour features familiar classics, American standards, works by Chinese composers and new works composed for the tour by four award-winning composers -- William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, Kristin Kuster and Bright Sheng
On the tour, Gao solo performances have been scheduled for Ann Arbor, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Xi'an, Tianjin and Beijing.
Gao’s concerts are sponsored by the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), an important branch unit within People’s Republic of China Ministry of Education, which oversees more than 300 Confucius Institutes around the world. His concerts are enjoying rave reviews in the media.
On May 7, the night before leaving the U.S., Gao’s crossover ensemble 6ixwire Project successfully performed for the Washington National Opera Ball as guest artists to pay a special tribute to Placido Domingo, Washington National Opera general director and world famous opera sensation on his 15-year tenure with the company. The Opera Ball was hosted under the patronage of Zhang Yesui, Chinese ambassador to the U.S., and his wife Chen Naiqing.
Recognized as one of the world’s most successful performing artists of his generation from the People’s Republic of China, Gao has been cited by The New York Times as “a rare and soulful virtuoso." He has performed for many world leaders and most was a featured soloist in a performance for Chinese President Hu JinTao and the visiting King Carlos I of Spain. His musical integrity and virtuoso technique have gained accolades from audiences and reviewers around the world.
Highlights of the recent season’s engagements include the North American premier of Eduard Tubin’s violin concerto No. 1 with the Detroit Symphony and the 2011 world premier of Kristin Kuster’s Two Jades for solo violin and symphony band in Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing.
Also, the U.S. premier performance of Eino Tamberg’s violin concerto with the Absolute Ensemble in Merkin Hall, New York City; solo performances with the Czech Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony-National Orchestra of Sweden, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic of Russia, the Estonia National Symphony, the Mexico State Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, Aspen Music Festival orchestras and the Knoxville Symphony.
Among the world’s major concert halls and festivals at which Gao frequently appears are Carnegie Hall, the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, the Shanghai Grand Theatre, the Aspen Music tent, the Smetana Hall, the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Singapore International Music Festival, the David Oistrakh International Music Festival, the Spoleto Music Festival, the Tallinn International Festival, the Interlochen Festival and the Meadow Brook Music Festival.
As a crossover musician, song writer and composer, Gao composed the 40th anniversary of Earth Day’s theme song Sleep now, O Earth for children’s choir, solo violin and solo erhu, Indian drums and orchestra. The work was successfully premiered in Delaware in 2010.
As a member of the China Magpie ensemble established by Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, and the 6ixwire Project, a crossover duet he and erhu soloist Cathy Yang formed in 2009, Gao is frequently featured on live concerts on China’s leading television station CCTV. The live concerts are seen by television audiences of more than one billion worldwide.
Gao is the founding director of China Music Foundation, China Virtuosi chamber ensemble and UD's Master Players Concert Series.
Gao is an alumnus of the University of Michigan. He is also the youngest professor of music at the University of Delaware and the ZiJiang Professor of Music at the East China Normal University in Shanghai.
In 2007, the Stradivari Society in Chicago selected Gao to be a recipient of world famous Stradivarius violins for his international solo concerts.
University of Michigan Symphony Band
The University of Michigan Symphony Band is widely considered a leader of the modern American wind band movement, with a reputation as one of the most outstanding groups of its kind.
Michael Haithcock has been director of bands since joining the faculty in 2001. Under his baton, the UM Symphony Band has won praise from a wide range of audiences, composers and critics. Reviewers of recordings on the Equilibrium label have hailed the band’s “organ-like sound quality, breathtaking precision, and detailed, polished, and expressive phrasing.”