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Renowned U.S. orchestra to advance people-to-people exchanges with China via more tours

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-10-12 09:00
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NEW YORK, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Philadelphia Orchestra will further people-to-people connections with China through more touring plans to contribute to the development of U.S.-China cultural exchanges and bilateral ties, the orchestra's chief has said.

"For us, the relationship with China and the people of China is so important," said Matias Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"We will be there with a group of musicians in Shanghai and in Beijing next month and then in 2021, we'll be doing a big tour to China," he said, expounding the orchestra's future plan to cultivate its ties with China that are rooted in the 1970s.

Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra is renowned for a long and distinguished history of touring the world. The orchestra's lasting ties with China mark a significant chapter in its century-old history.

In 1973, the orchestra pioneered cultural exchange with China at the invitation by then U.S. President Richard Nixon, becoming the first American orchestra to make a tour to the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Since then, it has traveled to China frequently, representing a bridge for cultural, educational and people-to-people exchanges.

"The people-to-people connection gets ever stronger every time the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra set foot in China," said Tarnopolsky, noting that "no matter what the climate externally is, these collaborations continue."

This May, the orchestra wrapped up its 12th tour to China, which was also aimed at marking the four-decade milestone in U.S.-China diplomatic relations.

It has held concerts in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, along with coaching sessions in Chinese colleges from May 16-28.

Calling the May China tour "an awe-inspiring experience," Tarnopolsky said the "unbelievable warmth and incredible passion" his team received from the Chinese audience showed "how strong the relationship between the orchestra and China continues to be."

"People-to-people exchanges and cultural interactions are crucial to secure the future friendship between nations," he stressed.

Reflecting on the orchestra's nearly half-century bond with China, the chief executive, who is also a classically trained musician, said China, with its musical traditions that date back thousands of years, "has informed our music education practices and our touring practices," noting such interactions also help facilitate musical development.

Due to its longtime tradition of frequent collaboration with domestic and international communities, The Philadelphia Orchestra is widely recognized as a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the United States.

It will stage a special one-night-only concert this Saturday, celebrating China's musical culture in honor of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC.

Last week, the orchestra and the City of Philadelphia worked with the Chinese Consulate General in New York to host a China Day celebration.

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