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Taiwan Philharmonic Due in San Francisco on Nov. 5

October 15, 2018

On the last stop of its North American tour, the Taiwan Philharmonic will give a concert in Davies Hall on Nov. 5. The program includes the Barber Violin Concerto, Brahms’s Second Symphony, and Taiwanese composer Gordon Shi-Wen Chin’s “Dancing Song” from Three Aboriginal Songs for Orchestra.

The conductor is Shao-Chia Lü, the orchestra’s music director for the past eight years, Taiwan-born, educated at Indiana University in Bloomington and in Vienna, winner of several international competitions, and formerly music director in Koblenz and Hannover.

The soloist in the Barber is 24-year-old Taiwanese violinist Yu-Chien Tseng, who is rapidly gaining attention on international stages, recently signed by the record label Deutsche Grammophon.

Known as Benny, Tseng has won first prizes at competitions in Singapore, Pamplona, and Spain; in 2015, he placed first in the 15th International Tchaikovsky Violin Competition. He plays the 1732 Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu Ex “Castelbarco-Tarisio,” on loan from the Chi-Mei Culture Foundation of Taiwan. This will be his San Francisco debut.

The Philharmonic, which last toured the U.S. in 2016, starts this round in Costa Mesa on Oct. 30, followed by concerts in San Diego (10/31) and Seattle (11/3) before arriving here. The 99-member orchestra gives about 75 concerts and one opera production annually at home.

The program, which features different concerti at the various locations, is called “From Formosa,” referring to Taiwan’s old Portuguese colonial name (Ilha Formosa or Beautiful Island) to emphasize Gordon Chin’s drawing on Taiwan’s classical music tradition.

Chin, 61, is music director of the Yin-Qi Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Taipei and a faculty member at the National Taiwan Normal University. He is a composer whose chamber and symphonic works have been performed by organizations in Asia, the U.S., and Canada.

Tickets are available from the City Box Office.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].