Sydney Symphony Orchestra have a hit with premiere of Australian work for Chinese audiences.

The 102 musicians of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra have performed their first concert on their seven-city China tour to a substantial ovation at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

The Orchestra’s program included Beethoven’s Emperor concerto with, instead of Emanuel Ax, guest Chinese soloist Haochen Zhang, and Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben. The world premiere of Sound Lur and Serpent, by Australian composer Andrew Schultz, was also on the program.

While this tour of China is the Orchestra’s third trip to that country, it is the first international tour with their new Chief Conductor David Robertson. Managing Director Rory Jeffes was cock-a-hoop, saying, “It’s great to be back in China sharing this first tour with David. Not only did we present the world premiere of Sound Lur and Serpent, but we’ve welcomed David to a new continent with us.”

Robertson was also on a high, and praised the orchestra for their “sensational” performance “full of life,” and he also praised the acoustic of the Shanghai Oriental Art Center saying, “It was great to be in this concert hall where everyone could hear really well on stage − that meant that there was a lot of play and real back and forth.”

The Orchestra also performed Chinese composer Li Huanzhi’s Spring Festival Overture, a work that, as Robertson described, “brought the house down and was a wonderful way to close the opening concert on what is going to be a fabulous tour.”

The next stop on the Orchestra’s itinerary is the Shandong Grand Theater in Jinan tonight before heading to Beijing to play at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, a magnificent building perhaps best known as “the Egg”.

You can follow the Orchestra’s Chinese tour via the SSO blog.