Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and China's Herbert von Karajan

Did you know that China had it’s own Herbert von Karajan? According to the New York Times, it does. His name is Long Yu, and he is at the head of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

Concerts of the SSO have just gone online at, and we are thrilled to welcome our first ensemble in Asia. The orchestra has a long tradition of performing the European classical music repertoire, as well as a dedication to the work of contemporary Chinese composers. Their performances take place primarily in the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, a billowing glass construction by French architect Paul Andreu, which opened in 2004.

Mr. Yu has gained an international reputation for his musicianship and his drive towards perfection. His composer grandfather, Ding Shande, inspired him to shift his focus as a teenager from piano lessons to conducting. After studies at the Shanghai Conservatory, Mr. Yu continued at Berlin’s prestigious Hochschule der Künste (now Universität der Künste). Since his return to China in the mid-90’s, he has established himself as the leading force behind the modernization of the country’s orchestras.

At Classictic, we are looking forward to playing a role in bringing local and international audiences into the concert hall to hear the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. And perhaps down the road, rising star conductors will be celebrated as “the Long Yu” of their respective countries.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Day the Singing Stops on the Grand Canal

When is a Venetian gondolier too busy to sing “O Sole Mio”?
When he is rounding the paleto (turning post) at the Regata Storica.

Venice is generally associated with a romantically slow and easy pace, strolling across the Bridge of Sighs, or gliding along the Grand Canal. But for one day each year, Venice is all about speed.

The Regata Storica is a tradition that goes back to the early Middle Ages, if not further. The first documentation of the event dates to the 13th century, a time when the boat races were connected to religious festivities. Since then, the spectacle of the regatta has been captured by countless artists throughout the centuries. Among the most famous renditions are owed to Canaletto.

Several different events make up the Regata Storica, but it is the race of the gondoliers that truly gets local and tourist blood flowing. There is no serenading to be heard here over the shouting of the crowd as the boats are propelled through St Mark’s Bay.

For those who have come to Italy to slow down, the pageantry of the Water Parade might be a better choice. Here, historical ships can be admired, complete with costumed gondoliers and local officials.

Venice is truly a city where past and present are intertwined, where tradition and architecture keep history alive. When the excitement on the water has subsided, visitors can choose from a wide variety of musical events in Venice that highlight this fascinating aspect of the city. Whether it's Baroque music in a period church or opera arias in an elegant Palazzo on the Grand Canal.

And when the racing is over, you'll be sure to hear talented goldoliers singing familiar melodies as they guide their boats through the city.

This year's Regata Storica takes place on Sunday, September 4.
Through July 31st, 2011, Classictic offers
10% off tickets purchased with the promotional code "Venetian".

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Salzburg Dreams

Salzburg – city of music and gateway to the Alps. Classical music aficionados come from around the world to see Mozart’s hometown and to visit the extraordinary music festivals. For classical musicians of all ages, performing in Salzburg is often the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.

This summer, a group of instrumentalists from the United States will join their dream to the dreams of wheelchair-bound Salzburgers. The San Jose Youth Symphony will perform in the elegant Great Hall of the Mozarteum, and the proceeds of the concert will help the “WheelChairDancers” of Salzburg to obtain the special wheelchairs necessary to participate in international wheelchair dance competitions.

The WheelChairDancers are a highly motivated team that trains regularly. Members of the group have traveled to competitions worldwide. As an organization, the WheelChairDancers aim to gain more publicity for wheelchair dancing as a sport, hoping to spread the joy of dancing to as many disabled people as possible.

We at Classictic are pleased to support the ticket sales for the benefit concert in Salzburg, and we wish both the performers and the beneficiaries much success!

July 2nd 2011. 19:30
Mozarteum, Salzburg
San Jose Youth Symphony Philharmonic Orchestra
Yair Samet, Conductor
Hannah Pauline Tarley, Violin
Benefit Concert Tickets

Sunday, March 13, 2011

European Opera Forum: The Opera Experience

Last weekend's European Opera Forum in London was an inspiring experience. The focus of this year's Opera Europa spring conference was "The Opera Experience". Participants were invited to look at opera from a variety of perspectives, with an emphasis on the vital importance of communication among the many different people and departments that make opera happen. Artistic directors met in dialogue with architects and technical directors, education departments shared their work with marketing experts, and so on.

Of particular interest was the extraordinary work that is being done to help attract new audiences to the opera houses. We heard about the Finnish National Opera transforming the house into a dance club atmosphere, where young Finns were invited to experience various performances by members of the ballet company, and then to dance with them until the early hours, animated by top DJ's. Productions that include and engage disadvantaged youth were described by representatives of the Paris Opera, the Scottish Opera, La Monnaie in Brussels, and others. In these large-scale undertakings, the goal goes beyond audience development. Here, art becomes a means of supporting young people in their development as citizens in the truest sense.

It was an honor to be a party to these discussions. We at Classictic learned a great deal about what is important to the opera world today, and we hope that we can actively contribute to the development of this unique genre in Europe and worldwide.

We look forward to getting a similar look at the opera scene across the ocean this May in Boston, when Opera America holds it's yearly conference.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Welcome to the Erwanna Fan Club

Hollywood fans have fondly melded star couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie into Brangelina. Opera enthusiasts now have a dream team to follow as well: the stunning and talented Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott. Or shall we say, Erwanna?
The New York Observer called the Russian diva "Audrey Hepburn with a voice", and the San Francisco Chronicle praised "a singer who has it all: imagination, insight, and wit". The bass from Uruguay is admired for his "combination of blazingly charismatic presence and imposing, wide-ranging, multicoloured sound."

The opera stars are considerably less harried by the paparazzi than their Hollywood counterparts. But their lifestyle is no less burdened by travel and heavy schedules. Of course, fans are the beneficiaries of their hard-working ethos. Anna Netrebko performs music of Pergolesi at Geneva's Victoria Hall in April, and Erwin Schrott can be seen and heard as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro at Paris' Opéra de la Bastille in May, and as Escamillo in Carmen at Barcelona's Gran Theatre del Liceu in July.

And your interest in the stars goes beyond just wanting to see them on stage, try visiting, where you can ask the diva questions about anything from how to become a successful musician to what cosmetic products she recommends.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dreams of Spain

February is the shortest month in the year. And yet, in many northern regions, it can feel like longest. Early spring flowers poke up through the soil, only to find that the sky is just as grey and the air just as chilly as they have been since November. A few birds twitter optimistically in the morning, but they soon think better of it and wonder why they didn't stay in their southern holidays a little longer.

Here in Berlin, we are warming ourselves with dreams of Spain. Mid-February in Madrid and Barcelona calls for a light jacket, and it's t-shirt weather on the Canary Islands. With a 10% discount on all Spain concerts, Classictic invites you to escape to warmer climes, or to think ahead to your spring or summer travels in the sun.

Once you have spent the day stolling in the sun or walking the halls of the Prado or Reina Sofia museums in Madrid, treat yourself to a world-class performance at one of Madrid's concert halls. Or, wander among the extraordinary architectural creations of Antoni Gaudi, then don your evening attire and visit a concert in Barcelona.

If the mainland is not enough of an escape for you, Gran Canaria and Mallorca offer the extraordinary combination of island getaway and top classical music and opera performances.

Choose from the many Spain concerts on, then enter the Promotional Code CLASSIC-SPAIN in the payment window. Your 10% discount will be reflected in the sum.

Classictic wishes you sunny thoughts and a wonderful concert experience in Spain!