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Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra and New Zealand String Quartet

L to R - Jiao Shanlin (perc), Shen Cheng (huqin), Liu Shun (conductor), Rolf Gjelsten (cello), Yang Jing (pipa), Doug Beilman (vln), Helene Pohl (vln), Dylan Lardelli (composer), Xiao Ma (countertenor), Jack Body (composer), Wang Hua (fls), Gillian Ansell (vla), Zhao Chengwei (sanxian), Yang Lin (zheng), Wang Yang (sheng), Luo Yuan (qin), Wei Wei (ruan), Zhang Zunlian (erhu). Photo taken in Jingshan Park, before the first concert at the Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing.

In a global first, the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra and the New Zealand String Quartet  commissioned seven New Zealand and Chinese composers to write music for their ensembles. Kate Mead visited the project’s HQ in Beijing during December 2013 and spoke with the musicians and composers about their lives, their instruments, their music and the successes and challenges of this innovative project.

Thanks to Lin Yan for the recordings of the works.

Listen to the whole series here

TRAD arr Gao Weijie: Three Strains of Yang Pass
Xiao Ma (countertenor), The Forbidden City CO

The Forbidden City CO, New Zealand String Quartet

NZTrio - Wellington Moon Festival

GAO PING: Excerpts from Su Xie Si Ti (Four Sketches)
Rattle RATD058


A couple of tracks from the album Unemployed by Norwegian electro-acoustic duo Alog whose music has been described as "whimsical, frightening, sentimental, and atmospheric, often at the same time".

ALOG: Bømlo Brenn Om Natta; Orgosolo I
Dag-Are Haugan, Espen Sommer Eide (electro-acoustics)
Rune Grammofon RCD 2116

Alog - Unemployed

Alog - Unemployed Photo: album cover art

PHILIP HAMMOND: Piano Concerto
Michael McHale (pno), RTÉ National SO/Courtenay Lewis
RTÉLyric FM CD 150

11:00 New Music Dreams

The Leftovers soundtrack

The Leftovers soundtrack Photo: album cover art

MAX RICHTER: A selection from the soundtrack to The Leftovers
Max Richter (pno, electronics)
Water Tower Music

MAX RICHTER: Songs From Before
Max Richter (pno, electronics), Louisa Fuller/Natalia Bonner (vlns), John Metcalfe (vla), Ian Burdge, Chris Worsey (cellos), Robert Wyatt (reader)
DG 479 5566