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2014 Tour of Asia & China Residency: Yannick and the Philadelphians Embark

May 19, 2014

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra are on their way to China, the first stop on the 2014 Tour of Asia & China Residency. The Tour marks Yannick’s inaugural tour with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and honors the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. Beginning May 21 and closing June 5, the Tour covers major cities in mainland China including Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha, and Shenzhen, where Yannick and the Orchestra present works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler, along with special performances of Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women by world-renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun, dedicated to audiences in China. (The Orchestra will also be the first American orchestra to appear in both Changsha and Shenzhen). In addition to the mainland cities, the Orchestra also makes a return trip to Macao for the second consecutive year before continuing on to concerts in Tokyo, Japan, one with special guest violinist Akiko Suwanai. The Orchestra concludes its 2014 Tour of Asia with a concert in Taipei, Taiwan.

“I have always had the utmost reverence for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s rich history, and its many years of touring is an important part of that history,” says Yannick. “I am proud to now become part of this tradition and join with my musicians as musical ambassadors on our first tour together to Asia. I am deeply honored that we will perform for the first time in China a work that celebrates China’s own history and culture, by one of China’s esteemed composers, Tan Dun. We welcome violinist Akiko Suwanai as guest soloist in Tokyo, and look forward to performing for Taipei audiences for the first time in a decade. We are eager to share the magic of our Philadelphia Sound with the world.” 

The Philadelphia Orchestra is in the midst of a historic multi-year residency program developed in partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. In addition to concerts, the Residency unites the Orchestra with talented young Chinese musicians and composers to further develop their orchestral skills. The Residency also serves to bring orchestral music, through performances and master classes, not only to China’s major cities but also further into the provinces, and to connect through the hearts of local musicians to their supporting communities, through the sharing of musical talents between its own musicians and Chinese musicians, engaging in music education, and spreading the joy of classical music with citizens in residential neighborhoods and at landmark historic sites.

The musicians left this morning for the 14-hour flight to Beijing. The first full performance is scheduled for Thursday at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.

You can follow the Orchestra through the entire Tour right here on our blog. We’ll be posting behind-the-scenes photos and stories from the road just as soon as we have them so check back soon!

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The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns is covering the Orchestra on its 2014 Tour of Asia & China Residency. Read his first dispatch: http://bit.ly/1nv3RDI