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Suzhou Arts and Culture Centre

50th Anniversary China Residency, November 16: Suzhou

Posted by:  The Philadelphia Orchestra on November 19, 2023


Nov. 16, Suzhou: This was another split day with one group of musicians performing at the Humble Administrator’s Garden and another at the Suzhou Museum. Violinist Philip Kates arrives at the Garden. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Violinist Yu-Ting Chen, Phil, English hornist Elizabeth Masoudnia, and cellist John Koen warm up before the performance at the Garden. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Orchestra Executive Director Ryan Fleur welcomes the crowd to the concert, including a large contingent of press. The Humble Administrator’s Garden is the largest garden in Suzhou and is considered by some to be the finest garden in all of southern China. In 1997 it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a component of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Yu-Ting, John, and Phil perform selections from Beethoven’s String Trio No. 2. A garden first appeared on this site during the Shaoxing period (1131–62) of the Southern Song dynasty. It was modified many times and split into sections. In 1949 the parts were joined together by the Chinese government and the garden was opened to the public. It was fully restored in 1952. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: The other group performed for a large audience at the Suzhou Museum, which houses Chinese art, paintings, calligraphy, and handmade crafts. The Western New Pavilion was designed by I.M. Pei, who was born in Suzhou. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Museum goers pull out their cell phones to capture the performance. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: (L to r) Violinists Mei-Ching Huang and Willa Finck, Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales, cellist Ohad Bar-David, violist Marvin Moon, and violinists Daniel Han and Amy Oshio-Morales perform Chen Yaoxing’s “The Battle-Horses Galloping” in the atrium. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Violinist Davyd Booth, who was on the Orchestra’s 1973 Tour of China, gives interviews to the press at the Museum. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: The two groups met for a joint performance with members of the Suzhou Symphony that evening at the Suzhou Arts and Culture Centre. Yu-Ting chats with Suzhou Symphony Music Director Chen Xieyang. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Marvin shakes hands with Daniel Delk, deputy consul general of the US Consulate in Shanghai. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Ryan Fleur and Suzhou Mayor Wu Qingwen exchange gifts at a pre-concert event. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: All of the officials pose for a photo at the pre-concert event. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Yu-Ting, Phil, Elizabeth, and John open the performance with two movements from Ruth Gipps’s Flax and Charlock. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Yu-Ting, John, and Phil play the second movement from Beethoven’s String Trio No. 2. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: The Suzhou Symphony Woodwind Quintet performs works by Arie Malando, Malcolm Arnold, and Wang Yang. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Mei Ching, Amy, Ricardo, Udi, and Marvin play the third movement from Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Daniel, Willa, and Marvin at the conclusion of their performance of the first two movements from Dvořák’s Miniatures. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Udi introduces the next piece, the fourth movement from Samuel Taylor-Coleridge’s Clarinet Quintet. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: Before joining the Suzhou Symphony musicians to conclude the concert with the Chinese folk song “Jasmine Flower,” the Philadelphia musicians received jasmine flower bracelets, which they wore while performing the piece. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: The combined ensemble performs “Jasmine Flower.” Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: At the end of the concert, a boy approached the stage with flowers, but was asked to return to his seat by the venue security guards. Philadelphia Orchestra staff ended up bringing him and his family backstage. The boy was elated to meet all of the musicians, and he gave the flowers to John Koen. The next day, Orchestra Assistant Conductor Tristan Rais-Sherman received a note from the boy’s cousin: “I want to express my deepest thanks for the extraordinary hospitality shown to my family during their recent trip to Suzhou for the Philadelphia Orchestra performance. Your generosity was remarkable in taking my mother, sister, and little cousin to the backstage with your colleagues—it truly exceeded all our expectations and created an unforgettable memory for my entire family! 50 years ago, my father experienced first-hand the magic of The Philadelphia Orchestra at Beijing. That performance left an impactful mark upon him; thanks to your generous assistance, my entire family now can experience its spellbinding performances as well.” Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Nov. 16, Suzhou: The entire Philadelphia delegation poses with the Suzhou Symphony musicians and officials after the performance. Photo by Todd Rosenberg

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