On 12 June, violinist Cho-Liang Lin and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will present the UK premiere of Xiaogang Ye’s violin concerto The Last Paradise, conducted by José Serebrier.
The Last Paradise is formed of a single narrative movement and portrays the hardship and eventual ascension into the afterlife of a central protagonist, represented by the soloist. Ye explains:
“My family suffered extremely – nearly all kinds of humiliation – during my youth. It was during the Cultural Revolution, which was really a hard time. Life was a harsh struggle for survival… The villagers believed that death was an escape from a painful life and the start of a new journey. I also imagined that my life would end this way, and when I was released from all the pain of this world I would be carried toward heaven and eternal happiness.”
Ye was the first Chinese composer to have his music published by Schott and today is one of the leading contemporary Chinese composers. His oeuvre encompasses symphonic, chamber, stage and film music and presents a unique fusion of influences from both Chinese culture and European art music tradition. Ye’s music has been performed around the world by orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Münchner Philharmoniker and Ensemble Modern.
Image: © Paul Body