LSO in tune with Chinese audiences

By Wang Mingjie in London | | Updated: 2017-02-01 23:37

The London Symphony Orchestra is deepening its ties with China and will tour the country again this month, with performances in four major Chinese cities.

LSO in tune with Chinese audiences

The London Symphony Orchestra. [Provided to] 

The six-day tour that starts on Feb 22 will include two concerts in Beijing, two in Shanghai, and single performances in both Wuhan and Macau.

Founded in 1904, the LSO has visited China regularly since its first performance there in 2004. The latest tour will be the fourth for Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Harding.

Kathryn McDowell, the LSO’s managing director, said: "It is wonderful to be returning to China where the LSO has built such a good relationship with audiences over the past 13 years."

During past tours, the LSO has worked with a list of famous Chinese classical musicians on stage, including pianist Lang Lang, cellist Wang Jian and pianist Wang Yuja.

In recent years, Western classical music has gained traction in China and pundits say there has been a huge growth in interest among Chinese audiences, particularly young audiences that delight in hearing global stars such as Lang Lang and Li Yundi.

In addition to the LSO tours of China, other major UK orchestras, including the Halle, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia have also recently played there.

Martin Cullingford, publisher of the London-based music magazine Gramophone, said there is a strong appetite in China for the standard-bearers of British orchestral music.

"A commitment to building partnerships between different countries and cultures has arguably never been more important than it is today," he said.

Cullingford said the enthusiasm shown in London last weekend for cultural activities surrounding Chinese New Year indicates the interest is reciprocated.

The latest LSO tour will be the first to China since the announcement last October that Reignwood Group, a global Chinese enterprise that places great emphasis on building business, economic and cultural bridges between East and West, became a principal partner of the LSO.

Ni Songhua, president of Reignwood Group, said the company was pleased to work in partnership with the LSO.

"By supporting this tour, we are honored to play a role in deepening the relationship between China and the UK, and look forward to doing so further as principal partners in both the short- and long-term," Ni said.

Tour dates:

Feb 22-National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing

Feb 23- National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing

Feb 25-Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai

Feb 26-Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall, Wuhan

Feb 27-Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai

Mar 1-Macau Cultural Center, Macau


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