GREAT PERFORMANCES: Beethoven In Beijing
Stream or tune in Friday, April 16, 2021 at 9 p.m. & Sunday, April 18 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Credit: Courtesy of History Making Productions
—Featuring interviews with Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun, famed classical pianist Lang Lang, Philadelphia Orchestra music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and more!—
GREAT PERFORMANCES “Beethoven In Beijing” spotlights the resurgence of classical music in China through the legacy of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the first American orchestra to perform in China in 1973. Following the end of China’s Cultural Revolution, when Western classical music was banned in favor of politically themed works, the onset of “Beethoven fever” began.
Narrated by American and Chinese musicians and historians, the film explores the impact of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s historic tour on China both then and now.
Renowned musicians, including Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun, Philadelphia-trained famed classical pianist Lang Lang, Philadelphia Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and more share their stories of how Beethoven’s music shaped their careers as China’s classical music scene boomed.
Featuring archival footage and first-person recollections from American and Chinese musicians, the documentary brings the 1973 visit to life alongside a behind-the-scenes look at present-day tours capturing the dynamism of China, from its new concert halls to its tens of thousands of young musicians.
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A production of History Making Productions, produced by Sam Katz, Jennifer Lin, Jindong Cai and Sharon Pinkenson. Directed by Jennifer Lin and Sharon Mullally. Executive producers are Audrey and Martin Silverstein. For GREAT PERFORMANCES, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer. GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET is a presentation of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET
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