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Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

The Peasant Prince: A Symphonic Tale (Music by Katy Abbott • Words by Li Cunxin AO)

‘This is your one chance. You have your secret dreams. Follow them! Make them come true!’

Using words and music, The Peasant Prince tells the inspiring story of Li Cunxin, better known as ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’: his childhood and his journey to become one of the world’s greatest ballet dancers.

With music by composer Katy Abbott setting the scene, Li tells his life’s story in eight episodes over half an hour - from his humble beginnings in rural China to his triumphs as principal ballet dancer of the Houston Ballet. It is a story that will inspire the young and the young-at-heart, with reflections on a family living in hardship, inspiring teachers, and the joy of finding that one thing that you love most in the world.

Based on Li’s best-selling memoir Mao’s Last Dancer and children’s book The Peasant Prince, this is a heart-warming tale for anyone who ever dared to dream.

The Peasant Prince is being released in three different versions. A CD, which contains two versions of the work – one narrated in English and one narrated in Chinese. And the English and Chinese versions are being released individually on digital and streaming platforms.

TRACKLISTING

English version/Mandarin version

1 Introduction 9 序章 (Introduction)

2 Kite Themes –

Hopes and Wishes 10 风筝——希望与心愿 (Kite Themes – Hopes and Wishes)

3 Frog in the Well 11 井里的蛙 (Frog in the Well)

4 Home and School 12 家里,学校 (Home and School)

5 Leaving Home, Arriving Beijing 13 离家到北京 (Leaving Home, Arriving Beijing)

6 By the Light of a Single Candle 14 烛光之中 (By the Light of a Single Candle)

7 USA 15 美国 (USA)

8 Dance of My Life 16 一生最重要的舞蹈 (Dance of My Life)

Release
Music can change lives. For almost 20 years, the Hush Foundation has been working with renowned Australian artists to create music of joy and calm – originally to support children in hospital, and now enjoyed everywhere from concert halls to living rooms. In this latest offering from the Hush series, pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci present music that can bring optimism even in the toughest times.The Hush Foundation, under the inspirational leadership of physician Professor Catherine Crock AM, transforms the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff through music and the performing arts. It has produced 17 albums, bringing some of Australia’s finest performers and composers together in collaborative partnerships that engage with the lived experience of people in the health system and other stressful environments. Hush albums are played not only in hospitals, but also in aged care, palliative care and childcare facilities to reduce stress and anxiety. Community and international orchestras also play music composed for Hush. In 2014, Hush’s contribution to Australian music was acknowledged with the APRA/AMCOS Award for Excellence.Gathering of Kindness recognises the power of the small acts of kindness and respect that build trust and create a sense of safety and security in difficult and challenging situations. ‘When we ask patients, their families and those working in healthcare “What matters to you?”’ says Professor Crock, ‘the single word at the top of the list is kindness.’Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci wrote the music on this album with the Hush ‘family’ firmly in mind. ‘We hope they serve at least one of music’s purposes in life, and that is to help calm our fellow humans in times when things aren’t going so well. Music can do this superbly. It can also give us joy, can foster kindness and a sense that, ultimately, everything will be all right.’ This latest album has been named after the healthcare events Hush has hosted since 2016. The Gathering of Kindness bring people working in health and aged care together to talk about ways kindness can flourish in their organisations and services. These events are being hosted throughout November at metro, regional and rural healthcare organisations across Victoria, and include live performances of Hush plays and music, healthcare book launches and panels, narrative and a range of self-care workshops, as well as updates on new research being undertaken. Hush is also hosting a ticketed event at KPMG in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November.›Pianist / composer / critic / author / academic / educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Tony has composed and performed alongside other renowned musicians Australia-wide and internationally. His numerous accolades include membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contribution to music.Peter Petrucci is one of Australia’s leading jazz guitarists, recognised for his virtuosity and lyricism in improvisations and artful compositions. He has released eight albums – the latest, They Know That We Know, in August 2019. Peter has performed locally and internationally supporting distinguished musicians and has appeared at numerous international jazz festivals, in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta, Stonnington and Queensland Jazz Festivals. TRACKLISTING 1 All Things Good2 Anthem3 Calm4 Autumn Lullaby5 Quiet6 Spring Town7 It’s Up to You8 A Little Folk Song9 Essence10 Truth and Beauty11 The Softness of Air12 The Smile Peter Petrucci guitar – Tony Gould piano Tks 1-3, 5, 8, 10-12 composed by Tony Gould.Tks 4, 6, 7 and 9 composed by Peter Petrucci.