An il­lus­tri­ous mu­sic part­ner to have

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHANG KUN in Shang­hai

zhangkun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Philadel­phia Or­ches­tra cel­e­brated its five-year strate­gic agree­ment with the Shang­hai Ori­en­tal Art Cen­ter (SHOAC) by hold­ing a concert on May 22.

The concert fea­tured a va­ri­ety of works by Nordic com­posers, from Si­belius’ Fin­lan­dia to Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No.1 and Bruck­ner’s Sym­phony No.4, un­der the ba­ton of its mu­sic di­rec­tor Yan­nick Nezet-Seguin. Dur­ing their stay in Shang­hai, the or­ches­tra also played at the tourism en­ter­prise zone, along­side in­stru­men­tal­ists from the Shang­hai Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra.

“No mat­ter what our gov­ern­ments agree on…at the end of the day, I truly be­lieve that the Chi­nese and the Amer­i­cans don’t only like each other, but also en­joy work­ing with each other. They both have a ter­rific com­mit­ment to peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­change,” said Craig Hamil­ton, vice pres­i­dent of the global ini­tia­tives of the or­ches­tra.

“Our mu­si­cians are not happy to just sit in a ho­tel or concert hall. They want to get out and share their mu­sic. This col­lab­o­ra­tion means we get to plan for great things with our Shang­hai coun­ter­parts, share re­sources and ideas, and pro­vide bet­ter service to the com­mu­nity, which is the main pur­pose of this new re­la­tion­ship.”

Founded in 1900, the Philadel­phia Or­ches­tra has been a pioneer in the in­dus­try. It was the first or­ches­tra to record sound, be on ra­dio, broad­cast a full sym­phony concert on tele­vi­sion and do a sound­track with Walt Dis­ney. Although the or­ches­tra has vis­ited China sev­eral times over the decades, this was the first time it was led by NezetSeguin. The 41-year-old Cana­dian be­came its mu­sic di­rec­tor in 2012.

Nezet-Seguin said that the pri­or­ity of an or­ches­tra today is to “make ev­ery­one feel wel­comed”. To do so, Philadel­phia Or­ches­tra or­ga­nizes free popup con­certs at its hall ev­ery year, no­ti­fy­ing au­di­ences via their of­fi­cial web­site and social media plat­forms. Such events have al­ways been very pop­u­lar — 3,500 tick­ets were given away within 26 hours for their lat­est concert.

Lin Hong­ming, gen­eral man­ager of SHOAC, said that although a num­ber of young mu­si­cians from China are gain­ing recog­ni­tion in the global mu­sic scene, China’s mu­sic in­dus­try in gen­eral still has much room for im­prove­ment.

He added that SHOAC plans to host mas­ter­classes for mu­si­cians, con­duc­tors and the­ater man­agers in China as part of this part­ner­ship with Philadel­phia Or­ches­tra and that Nezet-Seguin will be able to play a vi­tal role in these events by shar­ing his ex­pe­ri­ences of work­ing with renowned or­ches­tras around the world and in­spir­ing mu­si­cians to present mu­sic with flair.

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