China continues cultural push with Western classical tours

Posted on: November 21, 2016

“Next month, New York’s David Geffen Hall will welcome a visiting orchestra, on a tour including other top venues in Los Angeles and San Francisco,” reads an unsigned Saturday (11/19) article in The Economist. “It is the China Philharmonic Orchestra, which was founded in Beijing a mere 16 years ago. The CPO is hardly the only Chinese ensemble touring the West.” Others include the China National Opera House in Beijing and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. “Once, classical music generally travelled from the West to the rest. Now China is reversing the exchange, not merely performing Western classical music in China, but exporting it. ‘We have many good classical music groups in China, but people abroad don’t know about them,’ says Jiatong Wu, who has organised many … tours. ‘We’re trying to change that.’ … In bringing orchestras, opera performances and top individual performers to the West … China is showing its real clout. Jindong Cai of Stanford University, who conducts in both China and the United States … says … ‘Our tours are a way of showing our orchestras’ standards, to show our colleagues in Europe that we’re getting better and better.’ ”

Posted November 21, 2016