|The Philadelphia Orchestra Asia Anniversary Tour|
35th Anniversary Tour Builds Bridges through Music
Let us take you back to the fall of 1973, The Philadelphia Orchestra traveled and performed in China, which was a first by any American orchestra. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of this tour, The Philadelphia Orchestra returned to China this May and performed two concerts in Bejing, one in Ghangzhou and two in Shanghai. These concerts were a part of a three week tour, coordinated by Classical Movements, Inc.
A full house greeted The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Cultural Palace of Nationalities in China. Joining the orchestra for the China concerts was pianist Lang Lang. Led by Christoph Eschenbach, the orchestra's Music Director since 2003, the orchestra performed two works that were played back in 1973: The Yellow River Concerto, featuring Lang Lang, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral"). All proceeds of these concerts were donated by the orchestra to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake.
The Philadelphia Orchestra Association stated that "The Philadelphia Orchestra has a great tradition of sharing its music with audiences around the world, and it gives us great pleasure to continue this with our 2008 Anniversary Tour of Asia, which commemorates important anniversaries in both China and Korea. Through these many visits, we have developed rich friendships with many wonderful people, who share our belief that the transformational power of music bridges cultural differences and brings people together."
Harpist Margarita Montanaro was fortunate to be a part of both Asian tours and commented: "The transformation of China from the 70s to China today is one of the most amazing things the world has ever seen, very hard to believe unless you had seen it yourself back then."
Leading up to their concerts in Tokyo, a film documenting the lives and music of the Philadelphia Orchestra entitled "Music from the Inside Out", has been playing in a theatre since May. The orchestra performed three concerts at Suntory Hall. The concert included Britten's Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Violing Concerto, both featuring superstar violinist Midori, Schubert's Symphony in C Major ("Great"), and concluded with two Strauss encores, Thunder and Lightning and "Pizzicato" Polka.
In addition to the concerts performed, The Philadelphia Orchestra took trips out to the Great Wall, the Ming Tombs, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.