MACAU DAILY TIMES 澳門每日時報Music festival to return with int’l lineup, master musician Joe Hisaishi

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Joe Hisaishi

After a three-year hiatus, the Macao International Music Festival will return this year in its 35th edition, hosting for the first time globally acclaimed musician Joe Hisaishi.

Japanese musician Hisaishi is the creator behind the captivating music for renowned feature animation creator Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli and maker of classic films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away and The Wind Rises.

The Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) held a press conference to announce this year’s program yesterday.

In his first-ever Macau tour, Hisaishi will stage three concerts, each with its own theme, to cater to audiences from in and outside of the city. Discussing the three concerts, the director of Culture, Leong Wai Man, said audiences at the three concerts would be listening to three different types of works by the master musician. She said the musician does not only make movie scores, but all kinds of music. Therefore, the concerts will showcase his talents in a variety of music.

Program director of the festival, Lio Kuokman, said that when he negotiated with Hisaishi, the master musician said he wanted to present different kinds of music in Macau. Considering his experience, age and experience in Macau, he has decided to give something different to the city.

The series will kick off with Music Future, a concert reflecting the maestro’s passion for minimal music, a form and technique he has nurtured since his university years. It will be played by musicians from Macao Orchestra.

In the second concert, Hisaishi will join with Japan Century Symphony Orchestra and violist Antoine Tamestit to present symphonies composed by Schumann, Beethoven and Hisaishi himself.

The concluding concert of the series, titled Spirited Away, will see a hybrid of the Japanese and the Macau orchestras playing a Beethoven piece and two Hisaishi pieces – DA-MA-SHI-E and Spirited Away Suite.

This festival will also see jazz diva Stacey Kent showcasing “Songs from Other Places”, which will include a piece she made especially for Macau – Tango in Macao. She will perform with her husband, saxophonist and flutist Jim Tomlinson, a jazzy evening featuring some of her most loved scores.

Opera will also return to this festival with Opera in Two Acts by Gioachino Rossini, The Barber of Seville, and María de Buenos Aires, inspired by the only tango opera written by the great Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.

The full program and ticketing information are available on the IC website.


IC Leong: Sands China chiefly sponsors venues, Hisaishi requests formal setting

It was announced at yesterday’s press conference that this year’s International Music Festival is budgeted at MOP33 million. When asked how much Sands China Ltd (SCL) is sponsoring, director of Culture Leong Wai Man refrained from making any disclosure, but said that the resort operator “is chiefly sponsoring venue usage.”

Viewing the venue lineup, SCL is sponsoring the usage of its Parisian Theatre for two shows of María de Buenos Aires – Tango Opera by Astor Piazzolla and its Venetian Theatre for a show by Stacey Kent.

While predicting the popularity of Joe Hisaishi’s three shows by observing the popularity of his previous shows around the world, Leong was asked if the bureau had considered holding the concerts at larger venues owned by SCL, rather than at the Cultural Centre’s Grand Auditorium with only 1,000 or so seats. She responded that the concerts would be quite formal. She also quoted the program director of the festival, chief conductor and music director of Macao Orchestra, Lio Kuokman, as saying that the master musician from Japan requested the concerts be held at a formal theater with on-par auditory quality.

It was revealed that Lio had been in touch with Hisaishi to encourage him to stage shows in Macau.

The culture official was also asked if it was a shift in focus that has led to two consecutive years of not holding pop concerts by show business singers. She said some of the events this year fit the popular appetite, so the pop culture element has not been dropped. aL

Gov’t constantly reviews sponsorships

The director of Culture, Leong Wai Man, refrained from making comments on suspected corruption in sponsorship granted by Cultural Development Fund, citing investigations under way as reason. In addition, she emphasized that “continually reviewing sponsorships is part of the work that the Macau government has constantly been doing.”

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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