Beijing’s imperial palace, the Forbidden City, was transformed into a gala venue to celebrate classical music label Deutsche Grammophone’s 120th anniversary concert on 10 October. The concert marked the first staged at the Forbidden City since 1998. The evening included an international cast of musicians and performers anchored by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Chinese maestro Long Yu.

Travel News - ancient royal palaces of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China
The ancient royal palaces building of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.

The performance was held on the steps of Taimiao, otherwise known as the Imperial Ancestral Temple, located just outside the Meridian Gate in front of the main Forbidden City walls. This was the first time that a live concert had been held at Taimiao since Zubin Mehta led a production of Puccini’s Turandot in 1998.

Performances included a string arrangement of Liu Tianhua’s Enchanted Night and ‘November’ from Max Richter’s Memoryhouse by Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen. Russian pianist, Daniil Trifinov performed Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto.

Travel News - the Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir
The Shanghai Spring Children's Choir performed.

Dr Clemens Trautmann, the label’s president, said in a press release: ‘the gala concert was unforgettable. The concert’s historic nature was enhanced by its iconic setting in front of the Imperial Ancestral Temple and the walls of the Forbidden City. Those exquisite buildings echoed to the magnificent sounds of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Singakademie and an international cast of soloists under the direction of Maestro Long Yu, the first Chinese conductor ever to perform there.’

Travel News - -0317JuliaSchoierer
Julia Schoierer performing.

In addition to the live audience of 1200 Chinese and international dignitaries, the concert was live-streamed on YouTube’s 360-degree virtual reality platform.

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