Most internationally touring orchestras have long, storied histories. Not so the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Orchestra. Founded in 2010 to support the opera and ballet at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the orchestra has quickly become one of the leading ensembles in China. Despite its youth—the musicians’ average age is only 31—the group has a formidable sound and a long list of eminent collaborators, including Christoph Eschenbach, Loren Maazel, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, and Lang Lang. When they’re not busy accompanying ballets and operas, they have a mission to support contemporary music (both Chinese and Western) in addition to the classics of the canon, as this program demonstrates.
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