Hidden from small

2017 Asia, May 31: Beijing

May 31, 2017

Today was a rehearsal and concert in celebration of the National Centre for the Performing Arts’ 10th Anniversary. One of the musicians discovered just how well-known the Orchestra is in China.

Oboist Jonathan Blumenfeld decided to walk from the hotel to the concert hall this morning for the rehearsal and the route took him along Tiananmen Square, where there was an X-ray machine and security check. He was asked to open his instrument case to show what was inside and he tried to pantomime playing the oboe. He then showed the policeman his backstage and tour passes. The policeman read “Philadelphia Orchestra 2017 Asian Tour,” said “cool!,” and let him pass!

Philadelphia Orchestra President & CEO Allison Vulgamore met with Vice Minister of China National Tourism Association Du Jiang.


Horn player Jeffry Kirschen warms up backstage before the rehearsal. Photo by Jan Regan.

Some musicians warm up among the seats in the auditorium, including Assistant Principal Second Violin Dara Morales and Assistant Concertmaster Marc Rovetti. Photo by Jan Regan.

The Orchestra was joined by the NPCA Chorus and soloists soprano Yuanming Song, mezzo-soprano Hongyao Wang, tenor Haoyin Xue, and bass-baritone Shenyang to rehearsal Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the evening’s concert celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the NCPA. Photo by Jan Regan.

The bass section. Photo by Jan Regan.

Members of the NCPA Chorus. Photo by Jan Regan.

The flute and oboe sections. Photo by Jan Regan.

A group of staff from The Philadelphia Orchestra met and enjoyed lunch with NCPA President Chen Ping. Allison Vulgamore toasted Chen, thanking him and his team for their partnership with the Orchestra. Photo by Jan Regan.

A reception was held prior to the 10th Anniversary Concert with members from the United States Embassy in Beijing. David Rank, Chargé d’Affaires, talks with Yannick. Photo by Jan Regan.

Cellist Richard Harlow speaks with a young musician at the reception. Photo by Jan Regan.

(L to r): Violinist Mei Ching Huang, cellist Harlow, violist Judy Geist, and violinist Amy Oshiro-Morales take a selfie to remember the night. Photo by Jan Regan.

Vulgamore presents Chen with a beautiful framed piece showing five past Orchestra tours and residencies. The NCPA began a partnership with the Orchestra in 2012 for touring, residency, and community engagement. A second five-year agreement with NCPA began this year. Photo by Jan Regan.

Yannick makes a toast to all at the reception. Photo by Jan Regan.

The Orchestra held a central place in the NCPA 10th Anniversary celebrations, with their concert of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. But the musicians had to content with some “traffic” issues on their way to the hall. The bus carrying the musicians was unable to make a tight turn, due to a three-wheel rickshaw that was in the way. Tour manager Guido Frackers saved the day when he got out of the bus and pushed the cart out of the way. The bus erupted in cheers when he returned.

The clarinet and bassoon sections during the concert. Photo by Jan Regan.

Photo by Jan Regan.

The trumpet and trombone sections. Photo by Jan Regan.

The four vocal soloists and the NCPA Chorus. Photo by Jan Regan.

Yannick thanks Principal Viola Choong-Jin Chang and Assistant Principal Viola Kerri Ryan at the conclusion of the performance. Photo by Jan Regan.