The Butterfly Lovers

The Yellow River Piano Concerto, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra during its historic trip to China in 1973, has become a part of the Western symphonic repertoire since its premiere in 1969 during China's Cultural Revolution. What is less well known in this country is the story of the cantata that led to the concerto.

On this week's Crossover, you'll hear the story behind The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto. WRTI's Jill Pasternak speaks with the world-famous violinist Gil Shaham about his recording of the highly acclaimed work, which is an orchestral adaptation of a popular Chinese legend.

Jill Pasternak speaks with the world-famous violinist about his recording of The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, an orchestral adaptation of a popular Chinese legend.

Written in 1959 by composers Chen Gang and He Zhanhao while they were students at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto premiered in the same year featuring renowned violinist Yu Lina. Although instantly popular, the concerto was banned by the Communist regime during the Cultural Revolution and the composers were jailed.