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Carnegie Hall, OC's Segerstrom Center partner for Chinese culture festival

January 21, 2009 |  9:00 am

Lang A new bicoastal partnership between New York City's Carnegie Hall and Costa Mesa's Segerstrom Center for the Arts will bring select programming from an upcoming festival of Chinese culture in New York to the Orange County Performing Arts Center in fall 2009.

Announced today in New York by officials of both organizations, "Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: Celebrating Chinese Culture," to be presented Oct. 21-Nov. 10 in New York, will comprise 30 events presented throughout New York City, including musicians and performers traveling outside China for the first time.

The Costa Mesa offshoot, to be presented Oct. 15-Nov. 24, will include performers from the New York festival plus new programming made possible through alliances with Southern California arts institutions.

On both coasts, the lineup will feature leading Chinese musicians, including pianists Lang Lang (above) and Yuja Wang, pipa player Wu Man, composer-conductor Tan Dun and conductor Long Yu, and premieres of new compositions by Chen Qigang, Angel Lam and Dun. Also on the program will be the Quanzhou Marionette Theater from Fujian province in southern China, presenting a regional form of traditional Chinese opera.

Wuman "The idea is to do a continuing alliance -- partnership -- through the years, and the first project is this China festival," said Dean Corey, president and artistic director of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, which will present the California version of the festival, in a telephone interview Tuesday from New York.

Corey said the collaboration was instigated by Henry Segerstrom, managing partner of South Coast Plaza (the Orange County festival's presenting sponsor), who brought Corey together with Carnegie Hall executive and artistic director Clive Gillinson.  "We really came up with the idea in late October for us to put together, on our side of the fence, a smaller version of what Carnegie Hall is doing," Corey said.

Of future collaborative plans between the institutions, Corey added:  "We've had some discussions. We haven't really come to any basic conclusions yet.... The idea is really to take advantage of what each of us finds and presents -- that's kind of the basic philosophy. So it's pretty simple."

The New York festival will include traditional and contemporary Chinese music, dance, film and visual arts presentations extended throughout the city through partnerships with the Asia Society, China Institute, the Juilliard School, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other arts institutions.

-- Diane Haithman

Photos: Pianist Lang Lang performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; Wu Man plays the pipa with the Kronos Quartet at UC Irvine. Credits: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times (Lang Lang); Alexander Gallardo / Los Angeles Times (Wu Man).   

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