Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra embarked on their 2017 Tour of Asia yesterday. The almost 15-hour flight from Newark International Airport to Shanghai Pudong International Airport was thankfully uneventful and the musicians arrived at their hotel by mid-afternoon, weary but excited.
At the same time, the tour received prominent mention on the floor of the House of Representatives by PA Congressman Brendan Boyle, who said, “Today, the world famous Philadelphia Orchestra departs for a three country tour of Asia. In these uncertain times as my colleagues and I focus on East Asia, I think we can all agree that The Philadelphia Orchestra is a critical tool in the diplomatic toolbox. … As we focus our attention on the geopolitics of East Asia, I think we can all agree that this tour could not come at a more important time.”
A few musicians traveled a day early to be prepared for a rehearsal on Wednesday for a Side-by-Side Concert with members of the Shanghai Philharmonic, which will take place on Thursday, May 25.
The two-and-a-half-week tour features concerts and cultural exchange activities in Shanghai, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Seoul, and Hong Kong.
Newark International Airport. Photo by Jan Regan.
Violinist and keyboard player Davyd Booth (left) and his husband, Carlos Velez, wait for the flight to Shanghai. Photo by Jan Regan.
Associate Principal Bass Michael Shahan (left) and cellist Richard Harlow share a laugh at the airport. Photo by Jan Regan.
Associate Principal Trumpet Jeffrey Curnow. Photo by Jan Regan.
Buses await the arrival of the musicians at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Photo by Jan Regan.
Principal Trombone Nitzan Haroz. Photo by Jan Regan.