The Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, is set to make a grand tour of China in May to mark the 40th anniversary of U.S.-China diplomatic relations.
The Philadelphia Orchestra will serve as a cultural bridge, fostering meaningful people-to-people exchange through music during its 2019 Tour of China, which is set to run from May 16 to 28, the orchestra said on Tuesday.
"We have enjoyed a special, warm connection with China since our historic first visit in 1973," said Matias Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the orchestra.
"It is a privilege to contribute another chapter to the storied relationship between our two countries," he added.
The 2019 Tour, the orchestra's 12th tour of China, will begin and end with 40th anniversary concerts and residency activities in Beijing and Shanghai, the two Chinese cities home to its longstanding partners: the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, and the Shanghai Media Group Performing Arts Division.
During the tour, the orchestra will also perform in China's northern city of Tianjin, Philadelphia's sister city, before giving a performance in Hangzhou and making its debut in Nanjing.
"Our 2019 tour marks the deepening of our relationship with China and its music-lovers. We look forward to forging ever more meaningful connections between our cultures and communities through the joy and excitement of music," said Yannick Nezet-Seguin, music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, who will lead the tour.
Founded in 1900, the Philadelphia Orchestra made a historic visit to China in 1973, becoming the first U.S. orchestra to make a China tour since the founding of the People's Republic of China.
People-to-people connection is constructive to further cement bilateral ties, former U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Platt, who was on hand to help the Philadelphia Orchestra pioneer cultural exchange with China in 1973, told Xinhua.
"The orchestra's 40-plus years of trusted partnership with China is helping to keep the two peoples together," he said.