Friday, August 7, 2009

Plan a trip to Sun Moon Lake for magic moments filled with orchestral music

By Nancy T. Lu

Musicians of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (NTSO), all very experienced in coaxing emotional notes out of their classical instruments, are returning to the Sun Moon Lake to make the area come alive once more with the beautiful sound of music.

So prepare now to experience magic moments filled with music in a natural setting. Start planning a a trip to Sun Moon Lake. The NTSO will be there to romance listeners with music by Mozart, Strauss, Sibelius and many more composers.

Three Saturday concerts and one Wednesday performance during the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra’s International Music Festival from August 14 to October 3 this year will unfold in the open air at the scenic Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan. One program will even be played on a very new stage complete with dancing fountains built right on the water by the Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration. Admission to all four concerts will be free.

No less than 14 concerts have been lined up for the music festival over a period of nearly two months this year. The NTSO has invited world-class cellist Misha Maisky to collaborate with the orchestra at the Chung Hsing Hall in Taichung on August 29 and at the National Concert Hall in Taipei on August 30. Violist Nobuko Imai will play with the orchestra at the NTSO Recital Hall in Wufeng, Taichung County, on August 31. The Szymanowski Quartet, too, will put the public in the mood for good chamber music in Puli on September 29 and in Wufeng on October 2.

Taiwan’s very own award-winning violinist Hu Nai-yuan will be the featured violinist at the festival’s big opening concert at the Chung Hsing Hall in Taichung on August 15. Hu, it must be recalled, won first prize at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition in Belgium in 1985. Hubert Soudant will be the conductor at the podium during the performance. The evening’s repertoire to include Mozart’s Overture from “The Magic Flute,” Beethoven’s “Concerto for Violin in D, Op. 61” and Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 8” will be replayed the following evening, August 15, at the Sun Moon Lake’s Shueishe Parking Area, which is very close to the water and the row of hotels with at least three-star rating.

The participants of the NTSO Youth International Music Camp will cap their training with a performance under the baton of award-winning Singaporean conductor Darrell Ang on the special stage in the lake on August 22. Wang Yu-chuan will be the French horn soloist in the spotlight during the playing of Richard Strauss’ “Horn Concerto No. 1 in E Flat Major, Op. 11.” Also in the program will be Haydn’s “Symphony No. 104 in D Major – London” and Rachmaninov’s .”Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27.”

Charismatic Taiwanese violinist Lin Cho-liang will perform with the NTSO under conductor David Alan Miller also at the Sun Moon Lake’s Shueishe Parking Area on September 9. Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” Overture – Fantasy, Sibelius’ “Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 47,” Copland’s Suite from “Our Town,” and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” will get an airing. The concert the evening before, September 8, at the Chung Hsing Hall in Taichung will have a similar program.

The closing program at the Shueishe Parking Area in Sun Moon Lake on October 3 will be “A Tribute to John Williams.” Music from “Star Wars,” “Superman” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” will be among the repertoire’s highlights.

Of the Sun Moon Lake performances, the NTSO organized a very successful first concert with “Sounds of Nature” as theme in June last year. Matthew Lien, famous for his “Wolf” recording, gave a dramatic keyboard performance accompanied by recordings of sounds of nature including taped ripples of water, roars of the ocean, chirping of birds and singing of cicadas.

Taipei residents interested in visiting Sun Moon Lake can drive to central Taiwan. Buses to Shueishe Visitor Center pick up passengers near the SOGO Pacific Department Store on Fuhsing Road in Taipei. The bus ride takes about four hours. Some of the finest hotels, such as the Hotel del Lago, are only a five-minute walk down the road from Shueishe. Visit the website of the Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration (tel. 886-49-2855-668) under the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications at for information on the popular tourist destination, the Sun Moon Lake.

The picture of the serene Sun Moon Lake shown here was taken by this writer in June 2008.

1 comment:

  1. Even though we have left Taipei for about 9 months already, the memories of Sun Moon Lake and other beautiful and scenic spots of Taiwan remain sweet...