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Kaohsiung Arts Festival to highlight lawn concerts
By Yali Chen
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
2012-02-14 09:05 AM
The 2012 Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival kicks off February 28 and will run until July 1, bringing together international and local artists to perform in the largest city in southern Taiwan, says Shih Che, Director of the Kaohsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs.

Intended as the second biggest arts festival on the island behind the Taiwan International Festival of Arts in Taipei, the five-month event features a wide variety of programs including music, dance, drama, family-friendly theater, and traditional performing arts.

"Since 2009 a series of open-air lawn concerts in front of Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts has been popular among citizens,” Shih says, adding that the Lord of the Rings Symphony and Seediq Bale Symphony performed by the Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra will definitely be the highlight of this year’s 31 programs.

Shortly after The Return of the King came out, soundtrack composer Howard Shore took on the daunting task of reducing three movies’ worth of music into one concert-length work: The Lord of the Rings Symphony. This piece consists of six movements, two for each of the three movies.

Under the baton of New York-based conductor Erik Ochsner, the Kaohsiung-based orchestra will appear on stage on March 3 and 4 with soprano Kaitlyn Lusk.

On March 10 and 11, the orchestra will perform “The Seediq Bale Symphony” composed by Ricky Ho, who won Best Original Film Score for his work in “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale” at Taiwan’s revered Golden Horse Awards.

Two a cappella concerts on the lawn in front of the museum will be held on February 28 and March 6. The Singapore-based Moment Singers, Seoul-based Voco Novo A Cappella Group, and two Taipei-based groups, the Sirens Vocal Band and the Public Bath House Vocal Group, are all on the list of performers in the free outdoor concerts in Kaohsiung.

Other international and local groups include Compagnie Käfig, Le Shlemil Théâtre, Mr. Wing Theatre Company, Shakespeare’s Wild Sisters Group, Tainaner Ensemble, Paperwindmill, Tang Mei Yun Taiwanese Opera, Ming Hwa Yuan (Tien) Taiwanese Opera Company, Sun Hope Taiwanese Opera Troupe, and Taiwan Drama Performance Company.

For more information on the festival, go to http://www.ksaf.com.tw/2012/index.php