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Shanghai alive with the sound of music

By Zhang Kun (China Daily)

13:56, July 16, 2013

American trumpeter Chris Botti (above), and South Korean opera singer Sumi Jo (below) will highlight the festival. (China Daily)

All kinds of music from all over the world is being heard on either side of the Huangpu River through July 21.

Music in the Summer Air is an annual festival organized by Shanghai Symphony Orchestra since 2010. This year a total of 32 concerts and other music events are being held at two venues: the Lujiazui greens in Pudong, and the Cool Docks on the Bund, on the opposite bank of Huangpu River.

MISA is directed by two classical musicians: Yu Long, the artistic director of SSO, and Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit. Last autumn, the festival offices received a DVD documentary from the BBC in London, Frozen Planet, provided to promote a multi-media concert. The MISA organizers at SSO were very impressed with the originality and innovativeness of the film.

Inspired by the spirit of Frozen Planet, MISA set out to "bring up new possibilities of classical music", says Yao Yiwei, a spokeswoman for the orchestra.

Opera singers Shen Yang and Shi Yijie, and Sumi Jo from South Korea will work with SSO, not in an opera production but a concert program including old-time pop, light opera and songs from movies. The orchestra behind them will also perform as a swing band.

Acclaimed fado singer Mariza, who won high acclaim with her debut concert during Expo 2010 in Shanghai, will present the folk music of Portugal again on July 19 at the Lujiazui tent concert hall.

Walt Disney Company will bring Pixar in Concert to the Chinese mainland for the first time on July 15, presenting a repertoire of 13 Pixar movie songs. The music will be performed by China Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Chen Kangming at MISA Concert Hall at Lujiazui.

"Just like good storytelling, music can be appreciated by global audiences;" says Chen. "Pixar in Concert is a touching and engaging performance that not only interprets the music notations but also tell the background stories."

A large screen in the hall will play clips of Pixar movies and make the performance more lively, Chen says.

Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner is famous for creating music for movies by Krzysztof Kieslowski. A concert at Lujiazui on July 16 will feature their most memorable collaboration, the Three Colors Trilogy. On July 18, Preisner will present a retrospective concert at the Cool Docks.

MISA will conclude at Lujiazui on July 21, with a crossover concert by SSO featuring American trumpeter Chris Botti and a program that integrates jazz, opera and movie music.

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