Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will make history next year when it teams up with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on April 9, 2016. The joint concert will take place in Shanghai under the direction of Sir Andrew Davis, the MSO’s chief conductor. The program will include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 and Gustav Holst’s The Planets.
In a press statement issued by the ABC and Shanghai Media Group, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra’s president Zhou Ping said “Conductors and musicians can exchange their own ideas with each other, and work together to bring audiences a variety of pieces from China and Australia”. Her counterpart, the MSO’s chair Harold Mitchell, said, “the musicians will work back and forth with each other, and it will be established first with an incredible concert, here in Shanghai”.
It has been a big year for Australia-China orchestral relations. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has developed ties with the Shanghai Orchestra Academy, and a new partnership emerged between the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Beijing’s China Philharmonic Orchestra. An undoubted win for cultural diplomacy, we await with interest to see what other dividends these ties bring.