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Arts & Entertainment

Drexel Partners with The Philadelphia Orchestra for its Residency at China

April 25, 2012

Photo of David Kim, Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster, and Che-Hung Chen, Philadelphia Orchestra Violist
Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim and Violist Che-Hung Chen opened the press conference announcing the Orchestra's 2012 residency and tour of China

Expanding its preeminent role as cultural ambassador between the United States and China, The Philadelphia Orchestra announced at a press conference held at Drexel University the details of its pilot 2012 Residency Week and Tour of China activities with the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing.

The weeklong residency in Beijing marks the first time any U.S. orchestra has co-created a long-term residency in the Peoples Republic of China, opening a new door for the Orchestra's deeper engagement with China. The 2012 Residency Week and Tour of China runs from May 28 until June 6 and points the way for a future of new collaborations, innovative institutional partnerships as well as new musical convening and performances. China Merchants Bank is the Orchestras Presenting Sponsor of the 2012 Residency Week and Tour of China. Drexel is the Orchestra's Education Partner and will participate in activities related to the residency.

The Beijing Residency Week pilot program launches the Orchestras unprecedented initial five-year commitment to connect through the hearts of local musicians to their supporting communities, launched through the sharing of musical talents between its own musicians and Chinese musicians, engaging in music education and expanding awareness of classical music in local communities. The Residency Week includes three concerts, two free open rehearsals, community engagement activities, and U.S.-China diplomatic forums and cultural exchange programs. Additionally, from June 3-6, the Orchestra will continue in China, performing in nearby TianjinPhiladelphias sister city in ChinaGuangzhou, and Shanghai. Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit, deeply beloved by Chinese audiences, will lead five of the six performances; Concertmaster David Kim leads a chamber orchestra concert.

"Honoring The Philadelphia Orchestra's esteemed role as a cultural ambassador for the United States and continuing our close friendship with the people of China, today we are proud to announce a new partnership for the future," said Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore.We are humbled and honored to commit to the longer term possibilities we are co-designing with our good partners in China. I especially want to thank President Chen Ping and the NCPA for their guidance, support and for their commitment to the comprehensive menu of music education and community engagement programming of the pilot project. We look forward to uniting citizens from China and the United States through this musical partnership and the glorious sound of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster ansd ViolistMr. Yang Jingmao, vice president of the NCPA, stated: "The Philadelphia Orchestra is an old friend of the Chinese people and the premier ambassador of the United States. We are happy to host and partner with The Philadelphia Orchestra to inaugurate this new era of cultural exchange between China and the U.S. During the Residency, citizens in Beijing will have the opportunity to touch the power of classical music through the Orchestras artistic excellence.

The Beijing Residency Week will go beyond the traditional concert experience, sharing classical music inside and outside of the concert hall and with the people. The Orchestra will perform in diverse locations to include the Great Wall, community centers such as the Beijing Mai Zi Dian Community, the Special Education School of Dongcheng District and the Beijing School for the Blind.

An essential component of The Philadelphia Orchestras engagement in China will be to work collaboratively with the NCPA to identify and train Chinese classical musicians. During the pilot Residency Week, the Orchestra will give the world premiere of An Interrupted Dream by Du Wei, this year's winning composer selected from the Young Composers Program by the NCPA.

The Philadelphia Orchestra announced its initiative in China with the support of the U.S. Department of State and the China Ministry of Culture last year as part of the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange.

SponsorsDrexel President John A. Fry

The Philadelphia Orchestra is honored that China Merchants Bank has signed on as the Orchestra's 2012 Presenting Sponsor. The Orchestra's 2012 Residency and Tour of China is additionally made possible through the generous sponsorship of multiple partners. The Venetian Macao is Premier Sponsor and Macao Community Outreach Sponsor. Richard Hennessy, the Ultimate Cognac, is Presenting Sponsor for May 31 and June 5. Coca-Cola is Supporting Sponsor. Drexel University is Education Partner. Additional support has been provided to the 2012 Residency and Tour of China by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, NASDAQ, and PPG Industries.

The Philadelphia Orchestra recognizes and honors the sponsors of the NCPA's strategic cultural partnerships and expresses its gratitude for their role as well in making the Orchestras 2012 appearance possible.

About The Philadelphia Orchestra

Renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for an unrivaled legacy of firsts in music-making, The Philadelphia Orchestra remains one of the preeminent orchestras in the world.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has cultivated an extraordinary roster of artistic leaders in its 112 seasons, including music directors Fritz Scheel, Carl Pohlig, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Christoph Eschenbach, as well as the Orchestras current chief conductor, Charles Dutoit. In the 2012-13 season, Yannick Nzet-Sguin will become the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Named music director designate in 2010, Nzet-Sguin brings a vision that extends beyond symphonic music and into the vivid world of opera and choral music.

Julie Mostov, Drexel vice provost for global initiatives, with Richard B. Whorley, chairman, Philadelphia OrchestraPhiladelphia is home and the Orchestra nurtures an important relationship with patrons who support the main season at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The Orchestra also performs for Philadelphia audiences at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Penns Landing and other regional venues. The Philadelphia Orchestra Association continues to own the Academy of Musica National Historic Landmark as it has since 1957.

The ensemble maintains an important tradition of presenting community educational programs for local audiences. Today the Orchestra executes a myriad of education and civic partnership programs, notably its Neighborhood Concert Series, Sound All Around and Family Concerts, eZseatU and more.

Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations and recordings, The Philadelphia Orchestra touches the lives of countless music lovers around the world. The Orchestra annually performs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center while also enjoying a three-week residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York and a strong partnership with the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, please visit

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Niki Gianakaris