By Keyang Pang and Austin
Los Angeles—Pacific Symphony will begin its first-ever tour to China on May 9, with a concert at the Shanghai Poly Grand Theatre, followed by performances in Hefei, Wuxi, Chongqing and Beijing.
“It is indeed historic and worth celebrating,” said Ambassador Zhang Ping, the Consul General of China in Los Angeles in a send-off reception. “It will be one of the most important highlights among various cultural exchange events in recent years between China and Southern California.”
“Your China tour is of great significance both for Southern California and China-U.S. relations,” Zhang added.
Pacific Symphony, founded in 1978, is the largest orchestra formed in the United States in the last 50 years, and is recognized as an outstanding ensemble making strides on both the national and international scenes, and as well as in its own community of Orange County, California.
“This is an artistically significant opportunity for Pacific Symphony to embrace cultural diplomacy and to carry the message of music’s universality across the ocean to the other side of the Pacific Rim,” said Carl St. Clair, Music Director of the Symphony.
Orange County has the third largest Asian American population in the United States. And the Chinese community in particular has experienced explosive growth.
According to John Forsyte, President of Pacific Symphony, the Symphony has been devoted to engaging with the Chinese community and building on its enthusiasm for symphonic music since 2013.
“We are proud of the role we will be playing as cultural ambassador for Orange County and the community,” said Forsyte. “Crossing the Pacific Rim to perform for the Chinese population on the mainland is the logical extension of the work we’ve been doing here in Orange County.”
Pacific Symphony’s China tour will include works by Leonard Bernstein in celebration of his centennial, as well as Ravel’s Dophnis and Chloe, Suite No. 2; Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky, and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, featuring soloist Pinchas Zukerman.