The Philadelphia Orchestra has just wrapped up a 10-day visit to China, its seventh trip to the country over the past four decades.
But this trip was different.
The orchestra is preparing to come out of bankruptcy, and this tour was about its survival. It hopes to balance its books by building new audiences and new revenues in the world's second-largest economy.
Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim and Principal Timpani Don Liuzzi speak with WRTI's Jim Cotter as the ensemble embarks on a new type of overseas excursion. While still featuring traditional concert performances in Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, the Orchestra's 2012 Residency Week and Tour of China will place a greater emphasis on community engagement.
The Philadelphia Orchestra made history in 1973 as the first American orchestra to perform in China. This week, the Orchestra - led by Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit - is in Beijing for a residency in collaboration with China's National Center for Performing Arts. This marks the ensemble's fifth visit to China.
WRTI's Susan Lewis looks at how the Orchestra is engaging in activities beyond the concert hall, and expanding its relationships with the people of China.