Taipei, June 16 (CNA) National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) music director Lü Shao-chia is set to mark the end of his 10-year tenure with a concert that will include Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9, the third time he has conducted the piece with the group, the NSO said Tuesday.
Titled "Lü & Mahler 9," the June 20 concert at Taipei's National Concert Hall is described by the conductor as "my farewell to the orchestra," where he has been music director since August 2010.
Lü said this is the third time he will conduct the Mahler piece with the orchestra, having previously performed it in 2005 and 2014, noting it was written one year before the composer passed away during World War I.
Listening to the piece, one can hear Mahler's anger and struggle, his reflections on life and death, and ultimately his bidding farewell to the world, Lü said.
In the first half of the concert, the orchestra will play Franz Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 45, which is also known as "Farewell" and differs markedly from Mahler's Symphony No. 9, which features later in the performance.
This is one of Haydn's most popular works and the composer wrote it with instructions for the musicians to gradually leave the stage during the fourth and final movement, with two violinists left to complete the performance, Lü said.
Although the theme of the concert is leaving and bidding others farewell, Lü will remain at the NSO for another year as an advisor and help the orchestra find his successor.
He will also conduct the orchestra's final performances of the 2019-2020 season -- two operatic concerts of Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly on July 10 and July 12 at the National Concert Hall, the NSO said.
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