Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with Arts Centre Melbourne for Asia TOPA present

MSO’s Chinese New Year Concert

China / Australia

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Celebrate the Year of the Rat with the MSO! Enjoy works by world famous Melbourne-based Chinese composers Wanghua Chu and Julian Yu.

Now in its seventh year, the MSO’s Chinese New Year concert has become one of Australia’s major cultural highlights. In 2020, eminent Chinese conductor Yi Zhang leads the MSO in a performance starring young Chinese pianist Jieni Wan.

Billions of people around the world heard the remarkable work of Yi Zhang when he conducted the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Artistic Director of the National Ballet of China Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and Zhejiang Philharmonic Orchestra, Zhang is now one of the most influential conductors in China. He makes his MSO debut in this unique musical celebration featuring one of the most important Chinese compositions in the world today.

The Yellow River Piano Concerto is more than music; it’s a symbol of the irrepressible spirit of the Chinese people. Based on the Yellow River Cantata by Xian Xinghai (the first Chinese student ever accepted into the Paris Conservatoire for composition) the piano concerto was composed by Chengzong Yin, Wanghua Chu, Lihong Sheng and Zhuang Liu. It has been recorded by many Chinese superstar pianists, including Lang Lang and Yundi Li. Fresh from performances with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra and Konzerthausorchester Berlin, pianist Jieni Wan makes her MSO debut with this passionate and thrilling concerto

This program of Chinese masterpieces is complemented by Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony No. 3, completed in 1842. Dedicated to Queen Victoria, it was Felix Mendelssohn’s last symphony - inspired by a trip to Holyrood Palace, home of Mary Queen of Scots. Noble, lyrical and majestic – it’s the perfect finale to a night dedicated to a blend of eastern and western musical traditions.


  • Wheelchair access
  • Companion Card
  • Assistive hearing
The MSO’s annual Chinese New Year concert is supported by the Li Family Trust and presented in collaboration with Arts Centre Melbourne.
Supported By
  • MSO
  • Li Family Trust
  • East Meets West

Cast & Credits


Yi Zhang
Jieni Wan


Julian Yu
Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Beethoven - Homage to Beethoven
Wanghua Chu
Silk Road Symphony III: Presto alla danza
Chengzong Yin, Wanghua Chu, Lihong Sheng and Zhuang Liu
Yellow River Piano Concerto
Symphony No.3 Scottish