Philadelphia Orchestra embarks on Asia tour

Posted on: April 19, 2010

In Sunday’s (4/18) Philadelphia Inquirer , David Patrick Stearns writes, “ ‘Welcome to Seoul Namsan Gugakdang, where classical music is lively breathing.’ So reads the greeting on the Web site of one of three South Korean concert halls where the Philadelphia Orchestra will perform during its Far East tour. The marathon begins Thursday in Changwon, South Korea, and ends seven cities, 11 concerts, and three countries later in Shanghai. During this uncertain time in its history, the orchestra stands to get a vitamin B-12 shot not only from audiences at prestigious Suntory Hall in Tokyo, where storied orchestras such as Philadelphia’s are venerated, but also from parachuting into the opening week of Shanghai’s World Expo 2010, a world’s fair of Olympic-sized visibility. … Far Eastern tours are often unofficial ambassadorships, not just musically but in terms of diplomacy and big business—one reason why they easily draw sponsorship, and why Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau representatives will be on hand for this one, the orchestra’s 14th to the region. … This orchestra has had a profound cultural effect on China. After the Cultural Revolution stamped out all Western music, the Philadelphians’ 1973 appearance signaled a classical-music renewal.”

Posted April 19, 2010