Legends and Lanterns

A mesmerising musical performance that fuses East and West is on during February to ring in the Lunar New Year – book now for Legends and Lanterns!

Artists By Any Other Name (ABAON), a not-for-profit event and performing arts management company, recently announced it will bring together acclaimed violinist Harmonnia Junus, internationally renowned Chinese-Australian cellist Li-Wei Qin and the Odyssey Symphony Orchestra to perform Legends and Lanterns, a musical fusion of East and West, at The Concourse, Chatswood on 11th February and at Sydney Town Hall on 14 February 2024. 

ABAON founder and violinist Harmonnia Junus says, “The Legends and Lanterns performances have been graciously accepted into the Chinese Lunar New celebrations by both Willoughby City Council and the City of Sydney thanks to the world-class musicians featured and the unique fusion of music from Eastern and Western cultures that has the power to foster connection and inclusivity within the communities.”  

Legends and Lanterns
Last year’s edition of Legends & Lanterns. Photo credit: Lawrence Guyu Zeng;

Under the baton of Hong Kong-born Briton and Musical Director of the Australian Ballet Jonathan Lo, the Legends and Lanterns program showcases much-loved pieces from the classical Chinese repertoire, including the Spring Festival Overture, Galloping Horses, and a special abridged version of Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto for Violin and Erhu, featuring Harmonnia Junus and erhu musician Fuhua Li. 

“Securing Jonathan Lo is huge coup for Legends and Lanterns as he is incredibly sought after by ballet companies and orchestras worldwide. Couple this with the prodigious talent of cellist Li-Wei Qin and the Odyssey Symphony Orchestra, which features some of Sydney’s leading musical talent, and you have a show of supreme skill and profound orchestral artistry,” Harmonnia says. 

Li-Wei Qin (cello). Photo credit: Lawrence Guyu Zeng

The New York Times has described Li-Wei as having a beautiful tone, flawlessly centred intonation, and an iron technique. He brings this and more to Legends and Lanterns, which will see him perform Saint Saën’s Cello Concerto as well as a selection of Western works including masterpieces by Brahms and Strauss. 

“Performances like Legends and Lanterns are important because we are sharing the international language of music with Australians and Australian migrant audiences so they can feel and experience different parts of the world through music,” says Li-Wei Qin. 

“Legends and Lanterns is unique because we will largely be playing to a Chinese audience as part of the Lunar New Year celebrations. However, I will be playing Saint Saën’s Cello Concerto, which is a French work, so it may be the first time that many in the audience have heard this piece. This is an interesting and unique experience for both them and me, because the first reaction to a work is the purest. If they enjoy it and want to hear it again, then my job is done.” 

These concerts mark the second time that Li-Wei and Harmonnia have performed together, a testament to their connection and working relationship.

Fuhua Li (erhu) Photo credit: Lawrence Guyu Zeng.

 “Bridging the gap between East and West, from what we studied to our cultural roots, is special to both of us because we share similar backgrounds, and these performances will allow us to bring music to new audiences in the hope of inspiring the next generation of musicians and music lovers,” Harmonnia  adds. 

Legends and Lanterns will lift spirits as it explores the richness of Eastern and Western musical cultures through energetic large-scale orchestral works, along with exquisite moments of interpretation in this joyful live experience.

Tickets can be purchased at the following: 

The Concourse, Concert Hall, Chatswood: 11 February  

Ticket prices: Premium Reserve $188; A Reserve $128; B Reserve $59.50 – $88:  C Reserve $59.50 – $68.99 

Ticket Link: www.theconcourse.com.au 

Sydney Town Hall, Sydney: 14 February 

Ticket prices: Premium Reserve $188; A Reserve $128; A Reserve Family package (2 Adults, 2 Children) $384; B Reserve $88; B Reserve Family Package (2 Adults and 2 Children) $264; C Reserve $58; C Reserve Family Package (2 Adults and 2 Children) $174; D Reserve $38. 

Ticket Link: https://events.humanitix.com/legends24 

Main image: Legends & Lanterns featuring Li-Wei Qin (cello) & Harmonnia Junus (violin); Photo credit: Lawrence Guyu Zeng;

Sponsors include The Princeton Review Australia, China Southern Airlines, Elite College of English and JPI Education, along with grant support from the City of Sydney.


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