Beijing Music Festival programme announced

This year’s Beijing Music Festival (BMF) is taking the theme “East meets West”. It will be the first edition under new artistic director Shuang Zo, after festival founder and acclaimed conductor Long Yu announced this week that he is stepping down.

“I’m proud to announce that I’m stepping down as artistic director of BMF after 20 years and passing the baton to Shuang Zou, BMF’s wonderfully talented and innovative assistant programming director,” said Yu in a statement on his Facebook page.

Zou’s first programme as artistic director includes 21 performances as well as master classes, workshops and other community events. The festival runs from 12-26 October.

Opera highlights are new adaptations of Chinese classics Farewell My Concubine and The Orphan of Zhao from director Chen Shizheng; a performance of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin; and the world premiere of Fay Kueen Wang’s immersive take on Orfeo.

Away from opera, festival-goers can enjoy the music from West Side Story performed by the China Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Huang Yi; a concert from Tonhalle Orchestra under Paavo Järvi; and a selection of Chinese works from Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.