“The National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra from Beijing, on its second American tour in three years, landed in Philadelphia on October 31 and early the next morning began a full day’s schedule of pop-up concerts and residencies,” writes Stuart Isacoff in Wednesday’s (11/8) Musical America (subscription required). “The orchestra, led by its Music Director Lü Jia and established in 2010 … featured two contemporary Chinese works, with world-class guest soloists: violinist Ning Feng in Zhao Jiping’s one-movement Violin Concerto No. 1; and the remarkable Gautier Capuçon in the U.S. premiere of Chen Qigang’s cello concerto, Reflection of a Vanished Time….  The musicians easily conquered the hurdles of [Chen’s] intricate score, and Lü Jia was firmly in command…. These works showed the orchestra at its best, as did the two encores—Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No. 6 and Yuankai Bao’s Bamboo Flute Tune…. The NCPA Orchestra delivered the [contemporary Chinese] music with an interpretive flair and sense of splendor—a ‘rightness.’… The enthusiasm of the ensemble remained clearly in evidence, … and it will be interesting to watch the group’s growth in the coming years.” Read about the Chinese orchestral scene in the current issue of Symphony magazine

Posted November 9, 2017