Cincinnati Orchestra heading to China

Updated: 2016-10-11 11:26

By Hong Xiao in New York(China Daily USA)

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The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Cincinnati Pops, which was performed at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, announced an international tour to China in March of 2017, with six performances in places including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

"Cincinnati's orchestra is known throughout the world and it's an honor for us to be invited to perform in these important venues,"said CSO music director Louis Langre. "We are proud to represent our community and Cincinnati's vibrant cultural arts scene to audiences in Asia."

The orchestra last performed as the Cincinnati Pops during the opening weekend of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

The orchestra performed a Gala Olympic Concert for dignitaries associated with the games at Beijing's National Center for the Performing Arts, which was so well received the orchestra was asked to return.

Erich Kunzel (1935-2009), conductor of the Cincinnati Pops at that time told USA Today that the concert was a landmark event.

"It was extremely successful...We got three standing ovations," Kunzel said.

And prior to 2008, the Pops toured China in 2005.

On the newly announced tour, the orchestra will perform both as the CSO with Langre conducting and as the Cincinnati Pops with John Morris Russell conducting.

Joining the orchestra will be piano soloist Alexander Gavrylyuk, who will perform George Gershwin's iconic American classic Rhapsody in Blue.

The tour will begin on March 17 with the CSO performing as part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Music Hall and continues on March 19 with a performance at Beijing's Poly Theatre and March 22 with a performance at Shanghai's Oriental Art Center.

The orchestra will then perform as the Cincinnati Pops at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center on March 23, before heading to Taiwan for two additional concerts on March 25 and 26 at a venue yet to be determined.

"I'm thrilled for us to be sharing our unique Cincinnati sound with audiences in Asia," said Russell.

"We've sold more than 10 million albums over the years, and know that many of our most fervent fans live on the other side of the earth. There is nothing like a live performance of the Cincinnati Pops and CSO, especially when we are sharing the unbridled joy of extraordinary music-making with the world," he added.

The tour announcement comes as the orchestra celebrates the 50th anniversary of its 1966 40-concert world tour - the first US orchestra tour to be sponsored by the US State Department - with stops in Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Bombay, Athens, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Seoul and more.

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is considered one of America's finest and most versatile ensembles. With a tradition that dates back over 120 years, the CSO attracts top musicians, artists and conductors from around the world to Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Orchestra heading to China