Press Release

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Katherine E. Johnson Vice President, Communications (212) 875-5700;

For Immediate Release

Lunar New Year Concert with Kahchun Wong in His Philharmonic Debut, Feb 6

Conducted by KAHCHUN WONG in His Philharmonic Debut

US PREMIERE of TAN DUN’s Violin Concerto: Fire Ritual
With BOMSORI KIM in Her Philharmonic Debut

Shin Arirang
and Mozart’s Der Hölle Rache, from The Magic Flute
With Soprano SO YOUNG PARK in Her Philharmonic Debut

LIU Yuan’s Train Toccata
STRAVINSKY’s The Firebird Suite
LI Huanzhi’s Spring Festival Overture

February 6, 2019

The New York Philharmonic will celebrate the Lunar New Year, welcoming the Year of the Pig with a Gala and Concert led by Kahchun Wong in his Philharmonic debut on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. The program will include the US Premiere of Tan Dun’s Violin Concerto: Fire Ritual, performed by Bomsori Kim in her Philharmonic debut; Shin Arirang, Dong-Jin Kim’s version of the Korean folk song Arirang, and Mozart’s Der Hölle Rache, from The Magic Flute both performed by soprano So Young Park in her Philharmonic debut; Liu Yuan’s Train Toccata; Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite (1919 version); and Spring Festival Overture by Li Huanzhi, whose centennial will be celebrated in 2019. The New York Philharmonic has welcomed the Lunar New Year with an annual celebration since 2012. This performance marks Kahchun Wong’s first-ever appearance in New York.

The program is united by the theme of fire, representing warmth, light, energy, and prosperity in Asian cultures. Liu Yuan’s Train Toccata is based on the song Train by Taiwanese pop star Lo Tayu; in Chinese, “train” translates to “fire car.” Stravinsky’s The Firebird depicts the mythological bird that rises from the ashes of its predecessor, a creature that appears in both ancient Russian and Chinese cultures. Tan Dun’s Violin Concerto: Fire Ritual is composed in the tradition of the Chinese court ensemble, in which seated musicians performed onstage and standing musicians played offstage. In Fire Ritual, nine wind players stand in the audience while the rest of the orchestra sits onstage. Tan Dun says: “The Shaman of this ritual is the conductor, simultaneously directing the onstage and offstage musicians. However, the bridge between the two orchestras is the Prophet, represented by the solo violinist.” The concerto is subtitled “a musical ritual for victims of war.” Tan Dun says: “Fire Ritual unfolds and extends from a single note D (‘re’ on the solfège scale) … calling for the REturn of souls and the REbirth of all victims of war so that they may RElive another life, and love once more.”

Gala events will include a pre-concert champagne reception from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; the concert; and a seated dinner immediately following the performance. Gala dress will be traditional Asian attire or black tie. Starr International Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of the Lunar New Year Gala. The Honorary Gala Chairmen are Mr. and Mrs. Maurice R. Greenberg. The Gala Co-Chairmen are Angela Chen, Guoqing Chen and Ming Liu, Misook Doolittle, Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar L. Tang, Sharon Wee and Tracy Fu, and Shirley Young.

Kahchun Wong, Bomsori Kim, So Young Park, New York Philharmonic

Single tickets for the Lunar New Year Concert start at $35. (Ticket prices subject to change.)

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the David Geffen Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m.

For press tickets, call Lanore Carr at the New York Philharmonic at (212) 875-5714, or email her at

For information about purchasing tables or tickets to the Gala (including pre-concert reception, concert, and post-concert dinner with the artists), please contact the Office of Special Events at

Event Listing


New York Philharmonic

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center

Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Kahchun Wong*, conductor
Bomsori Kim*, violin
So Young Park*, soprano

LI Huanzhi Spring Festival Overture
LIU Yuan Train Toccata
TAN DUN Violin Concerto: Fire Ritual (US Premiere)
TRADITIONAL / Arr. Kim Shin Arirang
MOZART Der Hölle Rache, from The Magic Flute
STRAVINSKY The Firebird Suite (1919 version)

* New York Philharmonic debut


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Starr International Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of the Lunar New Year Gala.

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Citi. Preferred Card of the New York Philharmonic.

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Emirates is the Official Airline of the New York Philharmonic.

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Programs are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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