Beijing tonight: DG makes history in the Forbidden City

Beijing tonight: DG makes history in the Forbidden City


norman lebrecht

October 10, 2018

The label, celebrating its 120th anniversary, put n the first classical concert in the Forbidden City for 20 years.

Long Yu conducted the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in Carmina Burana, with the Wiener Singakademie, the Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir, and soloists Aida Garifullina, Toby Spence and Ludovic Tézier. Daniil Trifinov played Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto.

There was a simultaneous live stream in YouTube’s 360-degree virtual reality, as well as China’s regular formats.

It was a global DG showcase. Lacking only Lang Lang.


  • Bill Fitzgerald says:

    Aida G and Ludovic Tézier are no DG artists…

    • Max Grimm says:

      Participation in DG’s anniversary concert does not require them being one of their artists (as far as I know the other participants – Mari Samuelsen and Toby Spence – aren’t DG artists either).
      Here is the link to the live stream on YouTube, which begins in 14 minutes from now…

      • Thomasina says:

        Thank you for the link. AM3:00 in Beijing!

      • Bill Fitzgerald says:

        It’s just funny how new DG Vice President Trutman is presenting himself constantly with artists of other labels as „his puppies“ on the yellow birthday parties as he just recently did with wonderful Danish String quartet (ECM) and great Ólafur Arnalds (Decca)…

        • Max Grimm says:

          I honestly don’t know much about labels and the way they operate or how their contracts are made out but both Decca and ECM participate in “Club Deutsche Grammophon” which I believe means that both, the Danish String Quartet and Ólafur Arnalds, have recorded content under exclusive license to DG or distributed by DG, which may explain their occasional proximity to that label.
          As for Trautmann, I know virtually nothing about him (although I’m sure he wouldn’t be the first executive to try and bask in the limelight by means of others). Best not to allow oneself to become someones puppy in the first place.

          • Bill Fitzgerald says:

            Looking at the press releases put out the last couple of month Trutman is a master of naval gazing…and he is not even the boss of dg but only No. 2 as latest press release on Beijing concert pointed out again. Briegmann is heading DG but showing much better flair in leaving the stage for the artists instead of himself while Trutman seems to be keen on being on every other Instagram post himself. Reason not to follow dg chanel.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Well, they just secured at least one less sale, pace Trifonov’s participation. Who would bother to listen or view let alone buy this?

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    A hologram of Montserrat Caballe and Freddie Mercury singing a power-ballad duet about Forbidden Love would have been nice, too.

  • Nick2 says:

    The PR is nonsense. That concert did not take place in the Forbidden City. It was in a side Palace slightly to the east and not connected to the Forbidden City named The Working Peopls’s Cultural Palace. Many concerts have been held there.

    Besides, the only concert to take place in the real Forbidden City complex was The Three Tenors in June 2001.

    Fake news.

    • Meal says:

      I am not sure whether there have been more concerts in the Forbidden City. At least there has been one western opers performance that I remember well (back in 1998):

      • Nick2 says:

        That was Turandot with Zubin Mehta and his Florence forces in a splendid production by Jiang Yimou.. But that was not in the Firbidden City either, despite its bulling. Again it was in The Working People’s Cultural Palace. I was there!

    • Max Grimm says:

      “Fake news.”
      DG has let it be known that you are wrong and that they did indeed play in the Forbidden City. They said it’s not a case of ‘fake news’ but one of ‘alternative facts’.

  • WITHERS says:


  • Mark Richards says:

    I watched this performance live. Very nice.

  • Thomas Wunsch says:

    I watched the beginning on YouTube through ARTE, the sound quality was just a nightmare, it sounded like recorded from a mobile phone.

    Also Trifonov hammered the piano terribly to be heard in the open air space.

    Not exactly good advertising for a label like DG.