The air will be filled with outdoor music for all tastes, as the low-cost Music in the Summer Air (MISA) festival opens on July 7.
The fourth annual festival runs through July 21 with 32 concerts around town.
The program will feature classical music, jazz, opera and multimedia at Lujiazui Centeral Greenland in the Pudong New Area and at The Waterhouse at South Bund in Huangpu District. Ticket prices start at 30 yuan (US$4.85).
The festival aims to introduce classical music to more members of the general public. Rock, pop, crossover, folk and many genres will be showcased.
Concerts will be staged by jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, 10 violinists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Fado queen Mariza, the Shanghai Quartet and creative folk and "new Chinese art music" singer Gong Linna.
The children's opera "Noah's Flood" will be staged, as well as the movie music conert "Red, White and Blue," and the multimedia documentary concert "Frozen Planet."
The original goal of Music in the Summer Air was to provide easy access to classical music, according to Chen Guangxian, chairman of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, which initiated the festival. Audience surveys showed, however, that people wanted more diverse music, not just classical.
"We want the festival to become a bridge linking musicians and ordinary residents, so we should attract them in the first place, before introducing more classical works," Chen says.
Gong Linna will sing her latest creation "Ai Zhi Ge" ("Love Song") cycle at the festival. It's based on the works of female poet Li Qingzhao (1084-1155) in the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
"I believe that Li Qingzhao was a lucky woman, since she really had experienced love," says Gong.
Gong and her German composer husband Robert Zollitsch have been integrating Chinese folk elements with modern musical forms. Her experimental work "Tan Te" ("Pertured") instantly became famous in 2010. Other creations created controversy and troubled some listeners, including "Fahai, You Don't Understand Love" and "I'm in Love with a Big Idiot."
Though she is more often mentioned as a pop singer, Gong says she looks forward to cooperating with the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra at the festival. "Zollitsch loves Chinese poems, and always wanted to compose them into music, so they can be spread around the world like those of Goethe and Schiller," says Gong. "We are delighted to deliver the beauty of this poetry to more ordinary people."
The Lujiazui Central Greenland will be one of the major venues. Dining and beer stalls will be set up. A big screen will allow more people to take part in the concerts.
MISA at LujiazuiVenue: Lujiazui Central Greenland
Address: 15 Lujiazui Rd E., Pudong New Area
Tickets: 30-980 yuan
MISA at South Bund
Venue: Waterhouse at South Bund
Address: 1-3 Maojiayuan Rd
Tickets: 50-80 yuan
For schedule of the shows, please visit www.misa.org.cn (English version available).