Portuguese conductor Pedro Neves said he will collaborate with the Macau Youth Symphony Orchestra on a tour of China and Portugal to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The invitation came because the Macau Youth Symphony Orchestra “would like to work with a Portuguese conductor on this tour,” which includes three concerts in Portugal, explained Pedro Neves, principal conductor of the Orquestra Clássica de Espinho.
The purpose of the tour is to celebrate not only the 20th anniversary of the transfer of Macau administration but also the 40th anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Portugal and China.
Pedro Neves is already in Macao for rehearsals before the first concert, which marks the 22nd anniversary of the Macao Youth Symphony Orchestra Association on Saturday at 8:00 pm in the Grand Auditorium of the Macao Cultural Center.
In a young orchestra, “the greatest challenge is always to make the best use of the energy and liveliness that are characteristic of this age group, placing that motivation at the service of music,” explained Pedro Neves.
The orchestra is formed by young Chinese musicians from Macau, with the exception of the lusodescendent Júlio Miguel dos Anjos. But Pedro Neves believes that “the language barrier is an almost insignificant problem because the musical code is universally very strong and the understanding between the musicians goes far beyond words.”
The collaboration continues in July, with the second show, on 19th, at 7:30 p.m. in the concert hall of the National Library Arts Center in Beijing.
The concert program in the Chinese capital includes Western classical music, but also ‘The World of Insects’ by Doming Ngok-Pui Lam, a Macao-born composer, and a song inspired by the ancient Chinese legend ‘The Butterfly Lovers’.
“I hope that the public can welcome us in the best way, can understand the message of the works that we are going to interpret,” said Pedro Neves.
After touring Beijing, the tour continues in Portugal.
The Youth Symphony Orchestra of Macau plays on July 21, at 9.30 pm at the Largo Festival in Lisbon, before going to the Arts Festival in Coimbra on July 24.
The tour ends July 27 at the Marvão Festival.