Hidden from small

The Orchestra’s China Residency Resonates with Ode to Humanity

February 06, 2015

Members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Macao Orchestra, and the Shenzhen Symphony and Chorus perform Ode to Humanity at the Venetian Macao, led by Lio Kuokman.

It’s the highlight of our Pearl River Delta Residency Week, so it deserves an encore! Saturday night (morning U.S. time), the members of the Orchestra will be joined by colleagues from the Shenzhen Symphony for a free side-by-side concert of Ode to Humanity. Composed by Wang Ning, the music is a tribute to 2,000 years of Confucianism and the core values of Chinese human civilization. 

The work received a tumultuous response on Wednesday, when it was performed by members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Macao Orchestra, and the Shenzhen Symphony and Chorus at the Venetian Macao’s Venetian Theatre. The applause was so sustained, the ensemble repeated part of the last movement as an encore. Ambassador Nicholas Platt, the diplomat who helped facilitate the Orchestra’s historic 1973 Tour of China, and serves as an adviser on the Residency, called the concert “a diplomatic virtuoso performance, and a complex triumph of people-to-people artistry.” The Venetian Macao is the Presenting Sponsor of the Pearl River Delta Residency.

Following the Macao performance representatives from all the organizations gathered to share a toast. L to r: Francis Kan, assistant conductor, the Macao Orchestra; Huang Guangqiang, assistant to the orchestra chief and principal bass, the Shenzhen Symphony; Kate Kammeyer, orchestra manager, The Philadelphia Orchestra; Lio Kuokman, assistant conductor, The Philadelphia Orchestra; David Baxley, assistant vice president—entertainment, Sands China Ltd.; Ambassador Nicholas Platt; Craig Hamilton, vice president for global initiatives and government relations, The Philadelphia Orchestra; and Wong Ka, promotion and marketing, the Macao Orchestra.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Macao-born assistant conductor, Lio Kuokman, says conducting the Philadelphians in South China is “the opportunity of a lifetime.” No doubt the music lovers who crowd Shenzhen’s Concert Hall on Saturday night will agree!