As part of celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and China, the Sydney Symphony is undertaking a six-city tour of China this month.
Under the direction of Sydney Symphony Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser, Vladimir Ashkenazy, the musicians will perform in the Chinese cities of Tianjin, Wuhan, Qingdao, Shanghai at the Oriental Arts Centre, Guangzhou at the city's new opera house and in Beijing at the famous National Centre for the Performing Arts, commonly referred to as "the egg".
According to Sydney Symphony Chairman John Conde, the orchestra's tour of China demonstrates its position as one of Australia's leading cultural institutions. "We are very proud to again fly the flag for Australia overseas and showcase the calibre of our arts institutions to international audiences," Mr Conde said.
"This is the second time the Sydney Symphony will have visited China in the past four years under the leadership of Mr Ashkenazy, evidencing our commitment to forging closer musical ties with our northern neighbours."
On tour, the Sydney Symphony will perform Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10, Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 and will also be joined on stage by acclaimed cellist Jian Wang, performing the Dvorak Cello Concerto.
The orchestra will also premiere a newly commissioned arrangement for cello ensemble of a piece by Chinese composer Qigang Chen titled You and Me.
In addition to concert performances, the Sydney Symphony will undertake a range of outreach activities in Guangzhou in partnership with the Guangzhou Opera House and the Xinghai Conservatory of Music, the only higher music education institution in Southern China.
In Guangzhou, a number of Sydney Symphony musicians plus cellist Jian Wang will lead instrument tutorials for students in orchestral technique and tradition. The students will then take part in a rehearsal conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.
These initiatives are part of a partnership between the Sydney Symphony and Xinghai Conservatory of Music which was announced by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell when he visited China in July.
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