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The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has been recognised for its work in building strong cultural ties with Asia over five decades at the Asia Society Australia 20th Anniversary Gala, held last night in Sydney. Chief Conductor and Artistic Director David Robertson accepted the inaugural Asia Society Australia-Chopard Passion for Excellence Award on behalf of the Orchestra. The Award honours excellence in the field of cultural diplomacy.
“We at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra are incredibly honoured to accept this award,” Robertson said. “As we prepare for our fifth tour to China next month, we are grateful to the Asia Society for helping organisations like the SSO share our music with our nearest neighbours. We thank you for your continued support in helping us to build meaningful relationships in the Asia-Pacific and congratulate you on celebrating 20 years in Australia.”
A number of diplomats, business leaders and politicians including Julie Bishop, Penny Wong and the Chinese ambassador attended the Anniversary Gala. Doug Ferguson, Asia Society Australia chairman said of the Award: “Cultural diplomacy strengthens, broadens and deepens relations between the nations of the world. For five decades, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has led the way in enhancing understanding of Australia and promoting the nation’s cultural achievements throughout the region. Asia Society Australia commends their ongoing commitment to being a leading cultural ambassador for Australia.”
The SSO will soon embark on its fifth tour to China in September, led by Robertson. It will see the Orchestra perform three concerts in Shanghai and Beijing, as well as conducting outreach activities with students at the Shanghai Orchestra Academy. The SSO has longstanding relationships in China, spanning education and cultural exchange. After completing a seven-city tour of China in 2014, the Orchestra received an Australia-China Achievement Award in recognition of its cultural and artistic work abroad.
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra tours China September 11 – 17 to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Australia-China bilateral relations.