Chicago Symphony’s current Asia tour: sold-out concerts, hunger for classical music

Posted on: February 4, 2019

“We hear a great deal about growing tensions among the United States, China and Taiwan,” writes Howard Reich in Wednesday’s (1/30) Chicago Tribune. “But the picture changes dramatically when it comes to culture…. That’s what Chicago Symphony Orchestra assistant concertmaster Yuan-Qing Yu, who was born and raised in Shanghai, has been discovering during the ensemble’s current Asia tour…. Now, more than ever, the East reveres and hungers for Western classical music…. Says Yu, ‘And also the government wants to welcome Chinese musicians trained abroad to … bring what they know and do more projects in China.’ … After the CSO tour ends Feb. 4 in Osaka, Japan, [Yu will] head back to Shanghai for a few days to plan performances and teaching…. ‘Every night we have a completely sold out (concert) and people waiting for tickets that they cannot get,’ says [Music Director Riccardo] Muti.… ‘Here there are millions of people,’ observes the maestro. ‘They want to be part of the entire world…. The United States (is) seen … [as] a very powerful country…. These tours give an image of the United States that is much more delicate, much more spiritual, culturally speaking.’ ”

Posted February 4, 2019

In photo: After a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert in Taipei, Music Director Riccardo Muti signs autographs for patrons. Photo by Todd Rosenberg