"Napoleon on the podium" with the London philharmonic orchestra in Beijing
By Yang Meng

Vladimir Jurowski, conductor of the year for the 2018 Royal Philharmonic Society and Julia Fischer, who was named violinist of the year by the Gramophone magazine, joined hands with the London Philharmonic Orchestra to create an unforgettable night in the concert hall of the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) on Thursday in Beijing.

Although the London Philharmonic has visited the NCPA several times, this is the first time for the orchestra being led by Jurowski in Beijing. 

The handsome Russian conductor, with his strong personality and bold artistic style, has been called "Napoleon on the podium" by Western media.

“Has Vladimir Jurowski ever had a bad review? I scour the musical press fairly diligently and I've never come across one. As far as British critics are concerned, it seems, the 35-year-old maestro wields not a baton but a magic wand,” commented The Times.

 London philharmonic orchestra on stage. /Photo via Chnpca.org

 London philharmonic orchestra on stage. /Photo via Chnpca.org

Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel's "Merry Pranks" was the first played and the orchestra vividly presented the “prank” to the audience with the full dramatic expression of each part of the orchestra.

Violinist Julia Fischer, in a long green dress, came out to applause to play Mendelssohn's violin concerto in E minor.

In the second half of the concert, the orchestra played Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 2 for the audience. The symphony, written by Brahms during a summer vacation on a picturesque lake in Austria in the summer of 1877, is idyllic and poetic. 

Jurowski's precise control led the orchestra making the symphony warm and powerful.

Conductor Vladimir Jurowski and Violinist Julia Fischer. /Photo via Chnpca.org

Conductor Vladimir Jurowski and Violinist Julia Fischer. /Photo via Chnpca.org

The London Philharmonic came to China as early as 1973 and were the first Western symphony orchestra to visit China.

They have also made more than 200 film score recordings, including soundtracks for blockbusters such as the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” series. 

The two-week tour of Southeast Asia started on March 3 and the orchestra will return to London on March 18.