Music Festival returns with highlight on instrumentalists

The Macao International Music Festival (FIMM) returns for its 33rd edition this year, between October 4 and 30, with the theme of “The Instrumentalist.” Tickets will go on sale from August 4.

Its organizer, the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC), is bringing the big names in classical music to stages across Macau.

They include the Vienna Philharmonic, the China NCPA Orchestra and Chorus, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Billy Childs, Os Quatro e Meia, Sona Jobarteh as well as host representative, the Macao Orchestra.

Along with other performers, they will present 17 programs in a total of 22 performances.

The Vienna Philharmonic will return to Macau to perform Dvořák’s Symphony of the New World and the virtuosic Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with celebrated Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, in an al-fresco ambience in front of the University of Macau Library.

This year’s festival will be opened by Mozart’s last opera: The Magic Flute. It was finished in September 1791, four months before the music master’s demise in December that same year.

The opera, filled with creativity beyond imagination, makes a breakthrough in the traditional operatic presentation, leading the audience to a magical and fantastic world. Produced by the Komische Oper Berlin and British theatre group “1927”, this innovative opera production blends film animation and live singing.

Meanwhile, Os Quatro e Meia is a group of several young Portuguese singers who blend modern and contemporary music, sometimes pop-rock, into traditional Fado, a heritage art form.

Sona Jobateh is the first female in her family to play the African kora, or the African harp. It is a male-only activity, at least in her family. She will stage various traditional African tunes in the concert Manding Griot.

Childs released his first studio record in 1977, when he was 20 years old. He has since won several Grammy Awards.

The festival will be closed by the The Yellow River Cantata by Xian Xinghai. It will be performed by the Macao Orchestra, in association with the China NCPA Orchestra and Chorus. It is a signature piece with majestic momentum and tenacity as a wonderful closing tribute.

Besides their respective concerts, the Billy Childs Quartet and the Dorian Wind Quintet from the United States, renowned for its exquisite and passionate performances, will present the world premiere of Childs’ highly anticipated piece Ecosystems.

Trio Mediaeval from Norway will present the concerts Aquilonis and Folk Songs, allowing music aficionados to indulge in the world of vocal music.

Two of Macau’s upcoming musical stars, guzheng and erhu player Choi Hio Lam and erhu player Fang Teng, will stage a performance to showcase local talent, according to organizers.

The IC and the various sponsors of the festival are offering a series of discounts and packages for music lovers. Details can be obtained on the organizer’s website and box offices.

In the launching press conference yesterday, the IC emphasized that the music festival aims to bring world-class performances to Macau. It said that it hopes more local artists can take to the stage of the festival in future.

The budget for this year’s festival is set at 31 million patacas. Staff reporter

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