In the title of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2013 China Tour and Residency, the word “residency” is as important as the word "tour." And this, as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns now reports from China, is bringing the musicians face-to-face with many who may never see the inside of a concert hall.
For the eighth time in its history, The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing in China. Like last year, the focus is on residencies where the Orchestra becomes part of the community playing impromptu concerts in public places, and having joint rehearsals and concerts with the local orchestras. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns is traveling with the Philadelphians and files this report.
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.