Nu Shu is a disappearing language with a long vocal tradition created by women and for women in the Chinese province of Hunan, China in the 13th century. The legendary Grammy and Academy Award winning composer Tan Dun has spent several years researching this phenomenon and recording over 200 hours of documentary audio and video footage. In 2013, the NHK and Philadelphia orchestras commissioned him to write a large-scale symphonic work on the basis of Nu Shu materials.
“I created a kind of visual symphony in dialogue with the sound, the voices [of Nu Shu women] and with live orchestra acting in counterpoint to the calligraphy, ” explains the composer.
In 2018, Tan Dun invited the classical guitarist Artyom Dervoed to transcribe the solo part of the piece for the guitar. Eight movements of the transcription were premiered the following year at the Guitar Virtuosi Festival, which is presented annually by the Moscow Philharmonic Society under the artistic leadership of Artyom Dervoed. A few months later, the two artists premiered the entire Nu Shu: The Secret Songs Of Women symphony in China, with Qingdao Symphony orchestra.
“That night, Artyom perfectly interpreted the spiritual world of Nu Shu: the soft melody was filled with emotion, the dynamic movements spoke of tenacity. The guitar and Western traditional orchestral instruments merged with folk images in a performance full of drama,” reported Sun Hui (China).
“The symphony we premiered is a special interaction of the guitar, microfilms, songs and orchestra, which has a profound impact on the audience. We witnessed the birth of something absolutely unique… I was deeply impressed by Maestro Tan Dun. He is a fascinating and inspiring source of creative energy,” said Artyom Dervoed.
In October 2019, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra becomes the Beijing Music Festival’s first Resident Orchestra. Over the next three years, the MCO’s annual residence at the BMF will include multiple performances of 20th and 21st century repertoire with the world’s top conductors and soloists.
Primavera Consulting has played a vital role in introducing and incubating the idea, helping shape an entirely new artistic partnership framework for China’s oldest and most significant classical music festival, and guiding an ambitious vision of two organizations to fruition.
For the 2019 edition of the residence, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will performs two concerts with Vladimir Ashkenazy, marking 40 years since the Chinese debut of this distinguished conductor. The MCO is also joined by Shenyang, the globally renowned Chinese baritone and virtuoso violinist James Ehnes. The orchestra will also perform a concert dedicated to contemporary music from three preeminent living Chinese composers: the Grammy-nominated Zhou Tian, the Pulitzer Prize-winner Du Yun, and Qigang Chen; alongside a work by Dutch composer Michel van der Aa.
The Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO) was founded in 1997 based on the shared vision of being a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music. With 45 members spanning 20 different countries at its core, the MCO works as a nomadic collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world.
The Beijing Music Festival (BMF), which takes place in China’s capital every October, is one of the most well-known musical events in the world, drawing international attention to a diverse program of about 30 concerts featuring orchestral, chamber solo, opera, choral and jazz repertoire. Founded by Maestro Yu Long, it has served as the main platform for introducing Chinese audiences to the core classical repertoire and new music for over 20 years.
“A stunning film. Without question it is a must-see for musicians and non-musicians alike. With humor and insight Forte takes you on a fantastic journey of the beauty that can be produced with dedication and perseverance. It will make you re-evaluate the meaning of success and inspire you to pursue your passions personally and professionally. And if you can, watch it with your children!” David Gill, Consul General of Germany in New York
Primavera Consulting, in association with Constella Productions, has produced Forte, a David Donnelly documentary. Forte is the story of three women who are challenging industry norms by making their own rules in a genre steeped in tradition.
A young Norwegian soloist champions a rare, self-discovered composition and risks a promising career to bring it to life. An Argentinian composer gets the opportunity of a lifetime and discovers whether she is ready for it. A cultural entrepreneur and mother of three struggles to balance her family and creative career. These stories are told in the rich context of many voices representing the classical music field, offering a unique window into a world that is often perceived as insular and mysterious.
What these bold, game-changing individuals have in common is: strength.
Forte illuminates the somewhat enigmatic world of classical music in a way that allows the general audience to connect with the people who create, perform, present, develop and keep the music alive. Ultimately, the film aims to break down misconceptions and to use human narratives to inspire an interest in the art form, building on the worldwide success of David Donnelly’s previous feature-length documentary Maestro about Paavo Järvi.
Following the presentation at this year’s IMZ/ European Film Market in Berlin, Forte has attracted international distribution and has been invited to screen at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the League of American Orchestras’ national conference in Nashville, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony and University of Richmond (Virginia). The film has been licensed by NRK (Norwegian state television network) for prime time broadcasts starting in September 2019.
Through this international exposure Forte is set to make an important contribution to the global dialogue on the empowerment of women.
Primavera Consulting is proud to partner with the legendary New York Philharmonic and China’s preeminent Maestro Long Yu in organizing this high-profile celebration of the Chinese cultural heritage and the strong artistic and business relations between China and the United States. The program, presented at the sold-out David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center, featured the first-ever international performance of a unique farmers’ chorus that came from the mountains of the Yunnan Province to sing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Yunnan folk songs. The performance of Make Our Garden Grow from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, was a special gift to the New York audience and a tribute to the iconic music director of the New York Philharmonic. Other stars of this gala concert included the piano prodigy Serena Wang, six American opera singers, and two national ping-pong champions, who performed the American premiere of Andy Akiho’s Ricochet. The funds raised at the gala dinner following the concert go towards the New York Philharmonic’s educational programs.
The annual Guitar Virtuosi festival is presented by the Moscow Philharmonic Society, in association with Primavera Consulting, on the legendary stage of the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall under the artistic direction of Artyom Dervoed. It is among the most prestigious and significant guitar forums in the world. Its mission is to promote the instrument, and it is achieved not only through innovative programming that brings together the most celebrated performers, but also through world premieres of specially commissioned repertoire as well as through chamber music concerts, master classes, and lectures. All festival performances are streamed online, increasing its global audience to tens of thousands. The festival stars include the Assad Brothers, Pepe Romero, Anielo Desiderio, Zoran Dukić, Pavel Steidl, pianists Boris Berezovsky and Dmitry Masleev, violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky, and others. The Evgeny Svetlanov State Symphony Orchestra of Russia (GASO) is the festival’s orchestra-in-residence since 2016.
In 2017, Dmitry Sitkovetsky premiered a new multimedia production, inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale”. This ground-breaking work combines music from a variety of the composer’s works, original poetry, theatre, contemporary and street dance, live video and animation.
Two sold-out performances at the legendary Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow featured Russia’s celebrity TV host Vladimir Pozner and rock star Andrey Makarevich.
A French-language version of this production is coming to one of the world’s most prestigious music showcases, the Verbier Festival (Switzerland), in 2019. Additional performances are planned across Europe and North America.
Shortly after its founding, Primavera Consulting was invited by the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN to produce a special televised concert, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the founding of the United Nations, and the end of Nazism. This historic event took place at the General Assembly and brought together nearly 200 performers representing all the major Allied powers, including the Russian-born UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Maxim Vengerov, who played John William’s Schindler’s List suite. The program also featured music of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Zou Ye.
"The music we played in this concert is about memories and new beginnings," said Long Yu. "The War was a great tragedy, as well as a victory over evil, which must be remembered, while the birth of the UN from out of the wreckage of that war was a new beginning for the world."