Conservatory Composition Faculty Chen Yi's Los Angeles Philharmonic Performance Reviews

The Conservatory is pleased to share two recent reviews of Chen Yi's work, performed in Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Xian Zhang, performed Chen Yi's Ge Xu (Antiphony) at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dec. 8, 2017.  There is a review in the Los Angeles Times by Mark Swed.  He writes, 

"The L.A. Phil's fourth female conductor for subscription programs in the last two months and the New Jersey Symphony's music director starting last season, Zhang is known for her exciting energy. She seems invariably upbeat. She generates bursts of blindingly bright instrumental colors. She comes across on the podium as a rhythm machine. She goes in for, and gets, a big, bold sound from the ensemble.

All of that made the first half of the program likably lively and anything but threatening. Chen Yi’s Ge Xu (Antiphony) — written in 1994, just after the émigré Chinese composer had received her doctorate from Columbia University — is a brief, euphorically arresting picture of the Chinese New Year that easily demonstrates why she so quickly made a splash (and hasn’t stopped doing so) in the West."

Tony Frankel of also reviewed the concert, writing, "The Chinese and classically flavored 8-minute Ge Xu (Antipathy) [sic] opened the program with a firecracker bang. Composer Chen Yi sure knows how to use the orchestra. The 1994 work starts with a pounding, slapping, apocalyptic march, but surprises at the end when all is halted into a rumination, punctuated by harp into a sudden, long stillness (hence “antipathy,” which means an instinctive contrariety). The folk elements, such as pitch-bending and wooden blocks, were layered and cushioned with Psycho-like strings and stealthy percussion, including bongos and kettle drums."

Congratulations, Chen Yi!

Published: Dec 12, 2017