On January 9th, I went to a rehearsal of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra with Eric Jacobson Conducting. This was back when conductors were being consider to lead the Philharmonic into the future. of the five finalists selected in the international conductor search, this concert turned the most heads because Eric was selected as the Philharmonics new conductor.
The concert which occurred on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 8 pm was entitled SCHEHERAZADE: A FANTASY PROGRAM. Wu Man performed on the pipa which is a a four-stringed Chinese musical folk instrument, Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26.
The program consisted of DEBUSSY Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun, JIPING Concerto for Pipa and Orchestra, and RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Sheherazade. Much of the rehearsal focused on the Concerto for Pipa and Orchestra. Wu Man performed on the pipa with a graceful flair. The sound is distinct and the music felt like an exchange of cultures between East and West, a bit like dueling banjos but with much more culture, style and lyricism.