Panda Suite for Dizi and Symphony Orchestra

Idea, background and facts

It has long been public knowledge that China will lend two pandas to the Zoo in Frederiksberg.

Just over a year ago, the Music Confucius Institute (MCI) had the idea of letting this event be an initiative for a new piece of music based on Chinese-Western music dialogue. The work should be from one of China's most prominent composers, and the soloist a prominent Chinese performing artist in conjunction with a Danish symphony orchestra.

Both Copenhagen Phil and RDAM’s close partner in Beijing, the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM), backed the idea. The plans were realised, and the work is now available as a 20 minutes long suite in three movements for dizi (Chinese bamboo flute) and symphony orchestra.

The composer is the highly acclaimed Chinese composer and associate professor at CCOM, Zhang Shuai. According to plan, the Panda Suit will receive its Danish premier performance in April with Chinese dizi soloist together with Copenhagen Phil and 10-15 students from RDAM under the leadership of conductor Yu Feng, who is the President of CCOM. In China, the work is expected to be premiered in May in connection with the Chengdu Panda Base Research Centre's 150th anniversary performed by the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra, supplemented with 10-12 students from RDAM and under the leadership of a conducting student, who is also from RDAM.

It is thus an exciting artistic meeting between two different music cultures, and, just as important, the project has great educational value for RDAM students.

Recently, the media has brought attention to the project and its funding. Politiken reported, among other things, a total budget of just over 0.9 million. kr.

In fact, a total of DKK 420,000 has been awarded to the project, of which DKK 200,000 has been granted by Frederiksberg Foundation, and DKK 220,000 from HANBAN, the Chinese organization behind the Confucius Institutes. CCOM supplies the composer, the soloist and conductor, while RDAM provides the concert hall and contributing students.

Yours sincerely,

Bertel Krarup