Released on 05 Jun 2014

World premiere: Zhou Long’s Piano Concerto, Postures

On 4 July 2014, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, conductor Lan Shui, and pianist Andreas Haefliger present the world premiere of OUP composer Zhou Long’s Postures; a piano concerto commissioned by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and BBC Radio 3. The world premiere is planned for the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore, with the UK premiere following on 2 September at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 2014 BBC Proms season.

'I could not imagine how to compete with the great masterpieces in this genre. I had the same feeling when I composed my first opera, Madame White Snake. The question for me was about how to create a distinctive modern concerto. Often you see the soloist in piano concertos moving but cannot hear what they are playing because of the heavy orchestration. This is why I took a different approach to the piano itself and imagined it as a quite delicate percussion instrument. My score is rich in percussion but I was careful to make sure that this does not overwhelm the piano.' – Zhou Long

The work opens with a form of Shaman-dance from North-east China, during which the piano mimics some of the animal postures seen in the art of kung fu. Pianobells, the more lyrical and lightly orchestrated second movement, takes two contrasting bells ('Mighty Bells' and 'Frost Bells') as its narrative throughout. The third and final movement, which is intended to represent the Peking Opera Monkey’s action, is a wild and intense finale with rapid rhythmic patterns from the percussion.

Notes for Editors

Tuesday 2 September 2014
Royal Albert Hall, 7.30pm
BBC Proms

Lan Shui conductor
Andreas Haefliger piano
Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Glinka Ruslan and Lyudmila overture
Zhou Long Postures (European Premiere)
Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2 in E minor