A famous Chinese orchestral work and a famous Chinese violinist are the centerpieces of the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s season finale on Thursday, May 1.
The Butterfly Lovers Concerto is one the most beloved classical works in China. It was written in 1956 and is now making inroads into the western repertoire.
The piece is based on a Ming dynasty-era fairytale that tells a story of forbidden love. Forced to separate, the lovers die of heartbreak, only to come to life again as butterflies. Violinist Sha has performed the concerto around the world but says she never tires of it. And, she says, neither do audiences.
“In China, it doesn’t matter how many times you play it, [there’s] always a full audience. When you listen, and you know the story, you will understand completely how it goes. The music has the language everybody understands. It’s just a beautiful piece.”
Sha says she gets as much pleasure performing with student orchestras as with professional ensembles. In June, she’ll perform the Butterfly Lovers Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra on their China tour.