Philadelphia Orchestra musicians return to Sichuan school

Posted on: May 5, 2010

In Tuesday’s (5/4) Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns writes, “Tang Zhongxuan remembers the night after the earthquake, when sleeping indoors was no longer safe but outside the rain had arrived. … Few signs of ‘5.12 Wenchuan’—the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that devastated Sichuan Province’s Wenchuan County on May 12, 2008—were apparent Monday as Tang led four Philadelphia Orchestra musicians through Du Jiang Yan Tian Ma School, which the orchestra had helped rebuild. The musicians, led by violinist Phil Kates [pictured], were on an Asia-tour free day and had come to Dujiangyan for the dedication of the school’s Philadelphia Orchestra Project Hope Classroom. The spacious new music room was the fruit of an endeavor begun two years ago, when the orchestra, touring China only weeks after the earthquake, agreed to have one of its concerts televised for relief fund-raising. … On Monday—in a room decorated with Beethoven and Mozart likenesses, and a Philadelphia Orchestra poster with now-retired music director Wolfgang Sawallisch—Kates returned with violinist Paul Roby, percussionist Don Liuzzi, and tuba player Carol Jantsch to play a program of Brahms and Telemann. Exotic percussion instruments were passed to the kids. Local choruses and brass bands played.”

Posted May 5, 2010