Chinese Consulate And Fireworks And New York Philharmonic

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The Year of the Monkey is being celebrated this year in early February, and, of course, monkeys portend “many changes,” including “political uncertainty, an upturn in global economic growth, technological innovation and expansive creativity in the arts.” And that’s only for starters. Individual predictions depend upon one’s birth year and zodiac sign, and there are special charts for each year beginning in 1931. (More extensive charts exist, of course.)

Of the many celebrations throughout the City during this period, we experienced spectacular fireworks at the Chinese Consulate (42nd Street and 12th Avenue). These original inventors of fireworks HAVE to be good at this, and they ARE! Three successive perfectly synchronized explosions of cacophony and color reached into the Hudson River Sky around 9:00 p.m. Saturday, February 6th, accompanied by a giant buffet dinner and much camaraderie between the countries.

Later in the week, the New York Philharmonic celebrated Chinese New Year with their Fifth Annual Concert sponsored by both American and Chinese philanthropists. Led by enthusiastic Maestro Long Yu, this joyous outreach focused on Chinese composers, such as Li Huanzhi, Chen Gang, He Zhanhao and, of course, the famous Tan Dun. Some pieces portrayed the influence of Western music, others were unabashedly Chinese -– and totally contemporary. The solo violinist, Maxim Vengerov, who is somewhat of a staple at this event, played with exquisite fervor and delicacy.

At the Gala dinner, participants were lauded and applauded by an appreciative audience, most of whom were resplendent in RED.

Barbara Tober

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