In Thursday’s (4/11) Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns writes, “The Philadelphia Orchestra is to announce Thursday that it will return to China May 31 to June 9, marking the 40th anniversary of its groundbreaking 1973 debut there with an agenda that goes well beyond concerts. The orchestra’s second China residency will feature master classes, workshops, pop-up performances in public places, hospitals and schools, as well as playing alongside local orchestras in Hangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Macao. … ‘We don’t want to be seen as just coming in, saying “Here’s the great Philadelphia Orchestra and here’s what we’ll perform.” People-to-people exchange … really does happen,’ said Craig Hamilton, the orchestra’s vice president for global initiatives. Though Western orchestras have often visited China since Philadelphia set the precedent in 1973—music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will be there with the Rotterdam Philharmonic at the same time—few have penetrated China’s geographical vastness with the consistency of the Philadelphians. … Some events serve both diplomatic and artistic functions, such as a benefit concert for Soong Ching Ling Foundation–Pearl S. Buck Charitable Fund for underserved children. Joint performances will be with the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra and the China National Symphony Orchestra.
Posted April 11, 2013