The thirteenth annual San Francisco Symphony (SFS) concert and celebration in honor of the Lunar New Year will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, February 2. The event begins with a Festival Reception at 3 p.m., followed by the SFS concert featuring the debut of Taiwanese conductor Mei-Ann Chen, and concluding with a Lunar New Year Imperial Dinner in the Grand Rotunda of City Hall. The concert consists entirely of music by Asian and Asian-American composers, whose works adapt traditional Chinese sources to the Western orchestral style.
The featured soloist will be George Gao, performing on the erh hu, the traditional two-stringed bowed instrument. He will present the solo part of “The Butterfly Lovers Concerto,” one of the most famous Chinese orchestral pieces composed by Chang Gang and He Zhang-Hao. This was originally written for violin and orchestra; but the solo can also be taken by traditional Chinese instruments, such as the erh hu. The program will also feature two Taiwanese composers, Tyzen Hsiao (“An Angel from Formosa”) and Kao Shan Chung (“Ali Mountain Evergreen”). The program will also include the traditional “Lion Dance” and “Good News from Beijing Reaches Border Villages,” as well as An-Lun Huang’s “Saibei Dance.”
The Festival Reception is free to all ticketholders and provides family-friendly entertainment and activities, including children’s arts and crafts, lion dancing, and Chinese calligraphy, and complimentary food, desserts and tea in the Davies Symphony Hall lobbies, while tickets to the Imperial Dinner will be sold separately.
The Asian New Year festivities begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 2. Ticket prices range from $25 to $72 and may be purchased through the event page for this concert on the SFS Web site. Tickets may also be purchased at the Davies Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street or by calling 415-864-6000. Tickets for the post-concert Imperial Dinner in the Grand Rotunda of City Hall are available by calling the SFS Volunteer Council at 415-503-5500.