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Exhibition

Conductor Marshall to make Shanghai debut, also play piano

2024-04-09 to 2024-04-09
Shanghai Oriental Art Center 上海东方艺术中心
425 Dingxiang Road, Pudong New Area 浦东丁香路425号
2024-04-09 to 2024-04-09
Shanghai Oriental Art Center 上海东方艺术中心
425 Dingxiang Road, Pudong New Area 浦东丁香路425号

The ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra will commemorate the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with a concert at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center under the baton of conductor and pianist Wayne Marshall.

Unlike most other Austrian orchestras, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra focuses substantially on contemporary classical music.

Conductor Marshall to make Shanghai debut, also play piano
Ti Gong

The ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra

The orchestra will perform for Shanghai audience a series of scores composed by John Williams for Steven Spielberg's films, as well as the equally well-known theme songs of Harry Potter, Hedwig's Theme and Star Wars.

Marshall himself will perform two of Gershwin's classics, "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris."

Born to parents originally from Barbados, West Indies, Marshall began piano studies at age 3 and developed an interest in organ music.

Conductor Marshall to make Shanghai debut, also play piano
Ti Gong

Wayne Marshall

As a conductor, Marshall has been the principal guest conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi in Italy since 2007. He was the chief conductor of Germany's WDR Funkhausorchester from 2014 to 2020.

Talking about the upcoming concert, which is also the British conductor's Shanghai debut, Marshall hopes the audiences will be ready in a playful mood and enjoy the performance.

"As a conductor, it's very important for me to get prepared, too," he said. "Each orchestra has its own specialty. The conductor has to figure out if they can play a certain way, and how can I get them to play that way."

Conductor Marshall to make Shanghai debut, also play piano
Ti Gong

Wayne Marshall conducts the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

"Actually, 90 percent of the rehearsal is related to psychology, because you are dealing with people," he added.

Marshall said both of his parents are singers. He was never forced into music as a child, and never thought he would end up being a conductor.

He first played Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" at the age of eight and was deeply touched. Later, he won the Classical Echo Award for his "Gershwin Songbook" album. Given his skillful interpretation of Gershwin's works, Marshall is known as Gershwin's "spokesman".

"I didn't start conducting until I was in my 30s," the Briton noted. "But I played the violin and double bass in school orchestras, which helped me develop an understanding of orchestra at an early age."

Conductor Marshall to make Shanghai debut, also play piano
Ti Gong

The Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra focuses substantially on contemporary classical music.

From soloist to conductor and from traditional classical music to American works, the versatile musician has made a name for himself. In Shanghai, he will play the role of both conductor and pianist.

"After all, I only have two hands and it takes a lot of effort to do both," he said. "In Gershwin's works, when the orchestra and piano play together, the piano part gets overshadowed sometimes, so I have to make some cuts to balance the overall sound."

The concert is part of the ongoing 39th Shanghai Spring International Music Festival.

Performance info:

Date: April 9, 7:30pm

Tickets: 280-1,680 yuan

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center 上海东方艺术中心

Address: 425 Dingxiang Road, Pudong New Area 浦东丁香路425号

Oriental Art Center
Pudong New Area
Pudong