Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin Leads The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency
Three-week tour includes Residency in China and Concerts in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Macao, Tokyo, Osaka, and Kawasaki
Philadelphia Orchestra chosen to open Shanghai's International Tourism Resort Zone, home to the new Shanghai Disney Resort
Tradition of Cultural Diplomacy and Exchange continues with events in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo
Pianist Lang Lang joins Orchestra as soloist in Beijing and Macao; Violinist Ryu Goto makes his Philadelphia Orchestra Debut in Macao and Japan
WRTI 90.1 FM to broadcast two Hong Kong concerts live
(Philadelphia, April 26, 2016)—Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads The Philadelphia Orchestra in its 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency, May 19 through June 5, marking his second Asian tour with the ensemble. The tour begins in Hong Kong and continues to Beijing and Shanghai. While in Shanghai, The Philadelphia Orchestra opens the city’s International Tourism Resort Zone, home to the new Shanghai Disney Resort. The Orchestra then travels to Macao for the fifth consecutive year before continuing on to Japan, with concerts in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kawasaki (a debut visit for the Orchestra). The Venetian Macao is the presenting sponsor of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency.
Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra bring repertoire to Asia that reflects the rich musical heritage of the ensemble as well as the strong partnership between music director and musicians. With 12 concerts over three weeks, tour repertoire includes works by Brahms, Sibelius, Grieg, Bruckner, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Beethoven, Strauss, Prokofiev, and Bizet. Chinese pianist Lang Lang joins the Orchestra as soloist in Beijing and Macao, performing Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto. Japanese-American violinist Ryu Goto makes his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in Macao, Osaka, Tokyo, and Kawasaki, performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Torū Takemitsu’s Nostalghia—In Memory of Andrei Tarkovsky for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s first performances of the piece.
“The 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency is a pivotal moment for our organization,” said Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. “We will commemorate our rich history of artistic excellence on the world stage, while also looking toward the future with great excitement and anticipation. Most importantly, we will celebrate the audiences, partners, and sponsors whose time, talent, and support have enabled The Philadelphia Orchestra to develop an innovative and meaningful model of global artistic exchange—a model that uses the universal language of music to bridge cultural divides through concert performances and community-based residency activities.”
“The musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra and I are delighted to be back in the concert halls of Asia,” said Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “We are eager to share with audiences our deepening musical collaboration, performing repertoire that showcases the magnificent sound and tradition of this Orchestra. Our great friend and brilliant pianist, Lang Lang, will be a welcome soloist with us, and we are delighted that violinist Ryu Goto will make his debut with the Orchestra on this tour. We look forward to sharing our music-making and to greeting longtime friends and new fans alike, at concerts and in communities throughout our travels.”
As one of the most traveled American orchestras, The Philadelphia Orchestra is a global ambassador for the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the United States of America. Continuing its reputation as an organization rooted in cultural exchange, the Orchestra participates in a series of events facilitating cultural diplomacy throughout the tour, with receptions held at the residence of Ambassador Clifford Hart, the Consul General of the United States to Hong Kong and Macao; the U.S. Embassy in Beijing with Ambassador Max Sieben Baucus; and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. The year 2016 also marks the 30th anniversary of Philadelphia and Kobe, Japan establishing a Sister City relationship. Additionally, on the heels of the G7 Summit—which concludes on May 27 in Japan—the Japan National Press Club hosts an event in honor of the Orchestra on June 1.
“As one of the most traveled American orchestras, The Philadelphia Orchestra has made a sustained commitment to cultural diplomacy, representing the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the United States abroad,” said Allison Vulgamore. “We owe a special thank-you to the elected and appointed officials at all levels of government who have appreciated our work, recognized its impact, and helped us create new opportunities for touring and residency around the world."
With the 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency, The Philadelphia Orchestra builds upon the tremendous success of its five-year commitment to touring, residency, and community engagement throughout the People’s Republic.
The 2016 Tour marks a pinnacle year in the Orchestra’s history: the culmination of five years of unprecedented cultural exchange. In 2012 the ensemble reconnected with its roots in China and more deeply embraced its role as a cultural ambassador by launching a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, a pilot residency that united the Orchestra with talented young Chinese musicians and composers to further develop their orchestral skills. The residency also served 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 success of this pilot program was confirmed when the Orchestra and the NCPA signed a long-term agreement to extend this partnership into future residency programs, and in May-June 2013 the Orchestra triumphantly returned for its Residency and 40th Anniversary Tour of China, presenting over 50 activities in 15 days.
In 2014 the innovative program continued to represent a bridge for cultural, educational, and diplomatic exchange between China and the United States, as the two nations celebrated 35 years of diplomatic relations. Since 1973, when President Richard M. Nixon asked the Orchestra to be the first U.S. orchestra to perform in China, the ensemble has enjoyed a unique and special relationship with China and its people. Twenty years after its first arrival in China, the Orchestra returned in 1993, 1996, 2001, 2008, and 2010, when it helped to open the World Expo in Shanghai, prior to its residencies in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016 Asia Tour begins in the territory of Hong Kong, with two concerts at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, May 19 and 20. Both programs will be broadcast live back home on Philadelphia’s classical music station WRTI 90.1 FM. Listeners can tune in at 8 AM on both dates to hear Yannick Nézet-Séguin lead the Orchestra in Brahms’s Second Symphony and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade (May 19), and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11 (“Serioso”) in Mahler’s arrangement for string orchestra and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 (“Romantic”) (May 20). These concerts will also be broadcast live for Hong Kong audiences on RTHK Radio 4.
On Wednesday, May 18, Assistant Conductor Lio Kuokman and a small group of Orchestra musicians perform a chamber concert live at RTHK Radio 4’s studios in Hong Kong. Additional residency work includes a master class with Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts students and five Philadelphia Orchestra musicians on May 20.
The Philadelphia Orchestra last visited Hong Kong 11 years ago, in June 2005, with then-Music Director Christoph Eschenbach.
The Orchestra presents one concert at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, May 22. Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the Orchestra in Sibelius’s Finlandia, Grieg’s Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt, and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 (“Romantic”). Current residency events include a side-by-side concert with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra at the Shanghai International Tourism Resort Zone, also on May 22.
Shanghai Media Group is the presenting sponsor of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Shanghai.
While in Beijing, the Orchestra gives two concerts at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, May 25 and 26. Chinese-born pianist Lang Lang is the featured soloist, performing Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto on May 25 and May 28. While in Beijing, an Orchestra violinist gives a master class with Chinese violin students at the Penn Wharton China Center, May 24.
On April 8 The Philadelphia Orchestra announced HEAR, a series of collaborative learning initiatives that represent the most comprehensive and dynamic community engagement in the Orchestra’s recent history. Spanning four categories—Health, Education, Access, and Research—HEAR is a portfolio of programs that promotes wellness, champions music education, eliminates barriers to accessing the Orchestra, and maximizes impact through research, all throughout the Philadelphia region. A highlight of the Education initiative is an unprecedented partnership with the Eastman Music Company. This summer, Eastman and the Orchestra will launch a “buy one, give one” program. Incorporating feedback from Philadelphia Orchestra musicians, Eastman designed a new line of instruments specifically developed for the program named La Scala. For every one purchased, one will go to a student in need in Philadelphia. During the 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency, Orchestra constituents will visit the Eastman factory, work with the luthiers, and perform for children at a local school.
Penn Wharton China Center is the presenting sponsor in Beijing.
Over the last four years, the Orchestra’s presence in Macao has grown significantly through concerts and residency activities made possible by a close partnership with the Venetian Macao, expanding people-to-people exchange throughout the region. During the 2016 Tour of Asia, the Orchestra presents two concerts at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, May 28 and 29. Lang Lang performs Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto on May 28, and Ryo Goto makes his Philadelphia Orchestra debut with a performance of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 on May 29.
Residency activities include master classes with Philadelphia Orchestra musicians and Lio Kuokman, and a pop-up concert at Taipa Houses Museum on May 28.
The Venetian Macao is the presenting sponsor of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has a longstanding relationship with Japan, first visiting the island nation in 1967 with Eugene Ormandy as part of the Orchestra’s first tour of Asia. For the 2016 Tour of Asia, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra perform at Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan and Suntory Hall, Osaka’s Symphony Hall, and the Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s last visit to Osaka was in 1999, and 2016 marks the Orchestra’s first appearance in Kawasaki.
Ryu Goto joins the Orchestra as featured soloist, performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Japanese composer Torū Takemitsu’s Nostalghia—In Memory of Andrei Tarkovsky in The Philadelphia Orchestra’s first performances of the piece.
The Orchestra’s last visit to Japan was in 2014. In addition to subsequent tours of Japan with Ormandy, the Orchestra also visited and performed in the country with Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph Eschenbach, and Charles Dutoit.
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency is made possible through the generous support of valued sponsors and partners. The Venetian Macao is the presenting sponsor of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency. Shanghai Media Group is the presenting sponsor of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Shanghai. Penn Wharton China Center is the presenting sponsor in Beijing. Ruder Finn is the official public relations agency for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016 Tour of Asia and China Residency. The Orchestra’s primary partner is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Team PA, United Airlines, and White and Williams, LLP as additional tour partners.
Click here for the complete concert and residency schedules.
About The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for a legacy of innovation in music-making. The Orchestra is inspiring the future and transforming its rich tradition of achievement, sustaining the highest level of artistic quality, but also challenging—and exceeding—that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world.
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s highly collaborative style, deeply-rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike since his inaugural season in 2012. He is embraced by the musicians of the Orchestra, audiences, and the community. The New York Times has called Nézet-Séguin “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble … has never sounded better.” Under Nézet-Séguin’s leadership the Orchestra returned to recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label. The Orchestra also reaches thousands of listeners on the radio with weekly Sunday afternoon broadcasts on WRTI-FM.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has a decades-long tradition of presenting learning and community engagement opportunities for listeners of all ages across the Delaware Valley. In April 2016, the Orchestra announced HEAR, a series of collaborative learning initiatives that represent the most comprehensive and dynamic community engagement in the Orchestra’s recent history. Spanning four categories—Health, Education, Access, and Research—HEAR is a portfolio of programs that promotes wellness, champions music education, eliminates barriers to accessing the Orchestra, and maximizes impact through research, all throughout the Philadelphia region.
Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, the Orchestra is a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the United States. The Philadelphia Orchestra has regularly been called upon to perform on the world’s stage. In 1973, at the request of President Richard Nixon, the Philadelphians became the first American orchestra to perform in China, representing a bridge for cultural, education, and diplomatic exchange between the People’s Republic and the United States. Today The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing that calls for tours and residencies in China’s major cities and outlying provinces, and which has been hailed by the U.S. Department of State for exemplary people-to-people exchange. In 2015, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra toured Europe together for the first time. They were joined by the Commonwealth and the Pennsylvania Governor’s office as part of a trade exchange with the major capitals of Europe. Domestically the ensemble annually performs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center while also enjoying summer residencies in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Vail, Colorado. In March 2016, the Orchestra announced a new cultural partnership with the government of Mongolia. When Philadelphians travel to the capital city of Ulaanbaatar in 2017, they will be the first Western orchestra to perform in Mongolia.
For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, please visit philorch.org.
About Ruder Finn
Ruder Finn Asia has been a proud sponsor of The Philadelphia Orchestra for three years, and is known for its innovative approach to corporate sponsorship of the arts. For more than a decade, Ruder Finn Asia has provided cultural institutions, government agencies, and corporate clients with impactful arts-related communications campaigns. Clients include the Victoria and Albert Museum, Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC), Alvin Ailey, New York Philharmonic, VIP Art Fair, Beijing Music Festival, Year of France in China, Seoul Auction, Singapore Art Museum, and Singapore Biennale, to name a few. Ruder Finn Asia remains committed to leveraging the power of arts and culture as a communications platform, creating strong bonds between brands, companies, and countries, as well as their associated stakeholders that resonate across a wide spectrum of sectors.
Founded in 1989, Ruder Finn Asia is the Asia-Pacific subsidiary of New York-based Ruder Finn, the leading independent global public relations consulting firm. Growing at an average of 25 percent every year since 2000, Ruder Finn Asia today employs more than 300 consultants in Asia-Pacific and has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Bangalore. The firm is represented across all other regional markets through a network of high quality affiliates. Ruder Finn Asia’s business centers on four strategic pillars: Corporate & Public Trust, Global Connectivity, Health & Wellness, and Life+Style. The firm offers expertise in reputation management, digital and social marketing strategy, crisis communication, employee engagement, design, and executive skills training. Ruder Finn has dedicated teams for digital strategy, CSR, arts, culture, and activation, providing insights and counsel into market trends, annual research reports including the China Luxury Forecast, Physicians Digital Outlook Survey, and other publications. Delivering award-winning innovative, strategic public relations campaigns, Ruder Finn Asia’s key clients include Emirates, Jumeirah, Volkswagen Group, Sanofi, Daiichi Sankyo, L’Oréal, Omron, Hermès, GSK, Cotton Inc, Bang & Olufsen, Michelin, and leading brands from the Kering, LVMH, and Richemont Groups.
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