(Photo credit: Rosalie O'Connor)
If you're heading to any of the New York Philharmonic's Concerts in the Parks performances this summer, chances are that you'll sample the maestrolicious skillz of Xian Zhang. The New York Phil's Concert in the Parks kicks off this Tuesday, June 24, with selections from Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and, uhhhh, Sousa; Sousa, which can only mean one thing: FIARWAHKS! YAY! Grucci [not Gucci] fireworks after the show! Also this year for the opening performance, the New York Phil gets interactive, and by sending a txt/sms to 72648 (with code "NYPHIL") before the intermission, you will be able to vote for a final encore from two selections -- although the "chicken or fish" option is top secret for now.
Anyway, as we were saying before we got distracted by exploding things: Xian Zhang, the 34-year-old Associate Conductor of the New York Philharmonic (since July 2005), came from humble beginnings in a tiny North China village, and went onto formal training at Beijing's Central Conservatory. Recently, she became the first woman to conduct the Staatskapelle Dresden on their home turf. This summer, she will be heading the July 8-July 12 concerts across 4 NYC boroughs and New Jersey.
The NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, currently celebrating its 44th consecutive year, ends on July 15th.
We're sooo not going to debate the artistic integrity behind mass-marketed, outdoor orchestral performances. Rather, we'd like to highlight Ms. Zhang's make-up for her high-res PR shot. Upon low-res inspection, it's all serious business conductor lady. On blow-up? omg sparkly, glitter-flecked lip gloss! I mean, Oswald Kabasta (whose lips were famously chapped) definitely couldn't pull that off. Rawk on with your pretty pony bonnebell self!