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Giveaway: Nie Er Symphony Orchestra

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Canadian conductor Howard Dyck has returned to the Spring City to once again lead the Nie Er Symphony Orchestra. This week on May 22 the symphony will perform an eclectic program featuring both Chinese and Western music at the Kunming Theater.

The first piece to be performed is entitled The Spirit of Lijiang by Cheng Nashao. The five-movement work is written for choir, mezzo soprano soloist and orchestra and draws heavily on the folk music of the Naxi minority. The choir accompanying the orchestra is from the Yunnan Arts Institute.

Following the choral performance will be Moonlight Over Spring River, a concerto for pipa and orchestra featuring Qian Wuzu. Wednesday night's staging will be the first time this popular arrangement has been performed in Kunming.

The orchestra will then switch gears and perform Richard Wagner's Siegfried Idyll. Wagner composed the idyll in secret as a birthday gift for his wife Cosima. She had recently given birth to their son Siegfried and the work was originally performed Christmas morning, 1870. A small group of musicians played the work on the staircase of the Wagners' villa in Lucerne. A few years later, Wagner incorporated some of the music in his opera Siegfried.

The final piece of the evening is Variations on a Theme by Haydn by German composer Johannes Brahms. Brahms wrote these superb variations for orchestra in 1870 as a run-up to his first symphony.

Giveaway

The Nie Er Symphony Orchestra has been kind enough to give GoKunming six tickets for Wednesday's 8pm performance. The first three people to correctly answer the following question will each receive two tickets:

What is the significance of the symphony performing Wagner on Wednesday?

Send answers — along with your name and phone number — to us via the contact form. Winners will be announced in the comments section. Good luck!

Images: Nie Er Symphony Orchestra

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Oops...the answer to the trivia question is that today is the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth.

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