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Tales From The Forbidden City


Sat 15 Mar 2014, 8:00pm–10:00pm

Where: Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Silver Rd, Epsom, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • A Reserve: $55.00
  • B Reserve: $45.00
  • Child: $10.00
  • Student Rush (on the day): $15.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: CMNZ

In this ground-breaking project, China's Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra joins together with the New Zealand String Quartet to perform works written especially for them all; by Chinese composers, by New Zealand composers, and for instruments old and new.

The centrepiece of the concert is a major new music and film collaboration by Michael Norris and David Downes, paired with a new concerto for piano and traditional instruments by China’s best known composer, Gao Ping. It is the culmination of a year’s work, of travel between our two countries, of music that will astonish the ears, delight the eyes, and stretch minds.

The Forbidden City was the palace of the Chinese Emperors for more than 500 years. It is a place of ancient history, a place of treasures. Forbidden because none could enter or leave without the permission of the Emperor. It is vast, magnificent, awe-inspiring. It is also the seat of the oldest known music in the world.

Music has always been a vital part of Chinese culture, from the 1000-piece orchestras of the Emperors to a folk tradition that dates back to 5000 BC. Confucius himself was a musician, author of The Book of Music, composer of the oldest-known manuscripts in existence. To him and to all the imperial dynasties that followed, music was a vital tool for understanding one’s place in the universe, as important as medicine and the art of war, and central to the harmony and longevity of the state.
This is the history that the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra has inherited: each one of them soloists in their own right, professors at the two main conservatories, virtuosos on their ancient and beautiful instruments. They are the most renowned ensemble in China.

Supported by Victoria University of Wellington, the Ministry of Culture of China, The Confucius Institute and the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing.

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