Documentary about Philadelphia Orchestra’s landmark 1973 China tour to air on “Great Performances”

Posted on: April 7, 2021

“The Philadelphia Orchestra’s historic trip to China in 1973 and the ensemble’s contribution to the growing popularity of classical music there will be featured in a documentary that is set to debut later this month,” writes Pat Ralph in Monday’s (4/5) PhillyVoice. “ ‘Great Performances: Beethoven in Beijing’ tells the story of classical music’s growth in China through the lens of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Philadelphia Orchestra became the first American ensemble to perform in China after former President Richard Nixon asked the orchestra to visit the country…. Classical music’s popularity has since surged across China…. The film features archived footage … as well as a behind-the-scenes look at present-day classical music tours across China…. Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet Séguin and classical pianists Lang Lang and Gary Graffman are among the people featured in the film.… The documentary was a 2020 finalist for the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film [and] was named best historical documentary at the San Antonio Film Festival. ’Great Performances: Beethoven in Beijing’ will premiere Friday, April 16 at 9 p.m. on PBS and the PBS Video app…. Jennifer Lin and Sharon Mullally are the film’s co-directors.”