San Francisco Symphony Hosts Magical Chinese New Year Concert & Banquet

The performance with video projections

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

San Francisco Symphony welcomed the Year of the Pig with an impressive Chinese New Year concert and banquet on February 16 at Davies Symphony Hall. Presenting sponsors Gorretti and Lawrence Lui offered the audience a deeper understanding of the traditions of Chinese music and culture. The event, which was designed for both Chinese and Western audiences, sold out (530 gala tickets and 2,500 concert tickets) in record-breaking time.

London Breed, Gorretti Lui, and Lawrence Lui

The festivities included lion dancers, Chinese calligraphy, good luck envelopes, and 300 red lanterns in the windows of Davies. For the first time at the Symphony, unique video projections were incorporated into the musical performance and event. From video designer Adam Larsen, these images added a sense of magic to the evening. Lilou, an official therapy pig, posed for photos in a silver bow and with hooves painted in Chinese red!

Angelo Xiang Yu

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Taiwanese conductor Mei-Ann Chen started the concert with David Bryne’s title theme from the movie The Last Emperor. This was followed by Chinese composers Chen Gang and He Zhan-Hao’s The Butterfly Lovers performed by world-renowned violinist Angelo Xiang Yu. A documentary describing the background of this historically significant work, narrated by Ben Fong-Torres, introduced the concerto.

Lilou the pig and Leigh Wasson

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Other programs included Huanzhi Li’s Spring Festival Overture and An-Lun Huang’s Saibei Dance. The banquet “Dîner en Rouge” was inspired by the vibrant visual pageantry of traditional Chinese New Year celebrations. Held at Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall, the party featured dramatic performances by Alisa Gasperi and Big City Review.

Former mayor Frank Jordan and Wendy Jordan

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

This year’s celebration was presented in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission and also sponsored by John and Sherry Chen. Honorary chair Mayor London Breed thanked Gorretti and Lawrence Lui for their generosity. Attendees included political leaders: former Mayors Willie Brown and Frank Jordan, Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Evan Low, President of the Board of Supervisors Norman Yee, Supervisors Rafael Mandelman, Gordon Mar and Catherine Stefani, City Administrator Naomi Kelly, Consul General Donghua Wang and Cultural Counselor of China Deyu Zhai.

Yuan Yuan Tan, Shelly Chen, Tiffany Chang, Gorretti Lui and Mindy Sun

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Event committee members were Eliza Cash, Iris S. Chan, Tiffany Chang, Claudine Cheng, Margaret Lui Collins, Lan Kay, Xiaojun Lee, Olivia Hsu Decker, Patricia Lee-Hoffmann, Tiffany Liu, Farah Makras, Sonya Molodetskaya, Nanci E. Nishimura, Sharon Seto, Elisa Stephens, Mindy Sun, Rosina Sun, Karen and Rick Walker, Leigh Wasson and Annie Y. Liu Wong.

The concert

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Chinese lanterns

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

John Grotts and Lisa Grotts

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Denise Hale and Mary Beth Shimmon

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Farah Makras, Doug Goldman and Lisa Goldman

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Shelly Shilling and Rob Shilling

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Priscilla Chan and Helen Cheng

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Navid Armstrong and Joel Goodrich

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Nanci Nishimura and Iris Chan

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Olivia Hsu Decker and Richard Davis-Lowell

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Sonya Molodetskaya

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

 

 

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