Philadelphia Orchestra musicians work with autistic children in Shanghai

Posted on: June 4, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra is in the midst of a two-week tour of China, which David Patrick Stearns has been covering in the Philadelphia Inquirer. On Sunday (6/2), Stearns writes about a weekly music class for autistic children known as Angel Salon. “Members of the Shanghai City Symphony Orchestra and the children’s teachers—who say their charges were sent by angels—gather every Saturday for music sessions. This time, they were joined by Angela Zator Nelson and Chris Deviney from the [Philadelphia] Orchestra’s percussion section. ‘These kids thrive on small details and exact attention paid to what they need to learn,’ said Nelson, who has privately taught autistic children in Philadelphia.… Both the concert and the visit to the Angel Salon (officially known as the Autism Music Salon) were prompted by the Soong Ching Ling-Pearl S. Buck Charitable Fund, which is presenting the orchestra in the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center on Saturday and Sunday (the latter is a non-benefit public concert sponsored by the arts center), much in the overall spirit of the orchestra’s 40th anniversary tour of China, which is reaching into the communities in which it plays with more than just concert-hall appearances.”

Pictured: Philadelphia Orchestra Percussionists Christopher Deviney and Angela Zator Nelson with autistic children at the Huangpu District Youth Science and Technology Center. Photo by Jan Regan/Philadelphia Orchestra

Posted June 4, 2013