More than two decades after its first tour of Asia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has announced that it is embarking on a four-city tour of China and South Korea next month. Artist in Association Pinchas Zukerman will lead 66 of the ASO’s musicians in performances at China’s newly opened Zhuhai Opera House and Korea’s Tongyeong Concert Hall for the very first time. The orchestra will also play at the Beijing Music Festival and the Shanghai International Arts Festival, with the program comprising Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Mozart’s Turkish and Piano Concerto No 17, and Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Pinchas Zukerman with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Photo © Claudio Raschella

“I’ve been performing in China since 1995 and have seen how classical and orchestral music have undergone remarkable growth, with not only an investment in cultural infrastructure but also in symphony orchestras and schools of music,” said Zukerman. “Literally millions of young Chinese are engaged in the study of a classical musical instrument. It will be a real joy to lead the fantastic Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in these concerts and use our music-making as a platform to cultivate mutual respect, cultural awareness and people-to-people connections.”

“We’re delighted to be flying the flag for SA arts and culture on the world stage by taking 66 musicians and our Artist in Association to China and South Korea,” added Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello. “The tour will strengthen the ASO’s profile by showcasing our talented musicians internationally there by building bridges, making connections and drawing together a diversity of people through music.  We will strengthen the people-to-people relationships that we’ve been cultivating for several years in the region. We are also looking forward to performing in a range of stunning concert halls.”

The orchestra has been steadily strengthening its relationship with China for a number of years now, beginning with Concertmaster Natsuko Yoshimoto and Principal French Horn Adrien Uren’s stay with the Shandong Symphony Orchestra in April 2016. In addition to performing with the orchestra, both musicians mentored and led rehearsals and workshops. More recently, eight members of the ASO took its family program, The Bush Concert, to school students in Harbin, performing it in Mandarin. The orchestra intends to do the same back home to coincide with Chinese New Year on February 1, 2020.

The tour is supported by the state and federal governments through the Australia-Korea Foundation, as well as BHP and various donors.

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s tour of China and South Korea begins at the Zhuhai Opera House, China, on October 18