US orchs are beating the Europeans in Chinamain
A couple of weeks back, we received a press release of a link-up between a Chicago classical station and one in Shanghai. Nice idea: it will be the first time that concerts by leading US orchs will be heard regularly on radio in China, and vice versa.
Starting this month, the New York Philharmonic, LA Phil and San Fran Symphony will air in Shanghai; in April, the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival will go live on several radio stations in the US.
This is very much a sign of the times.
The NY Phil’s player/teacher exchange with the Shanghai Symphony goes live this summer. Trips by other US orchs are no longer diplomatic showpieces but genuine educational interactions with Chinese musicians and audiences. There are some signs of Chinese traditional music finding a foothold in the US.
Ronald Sadoff of New York University tells Chinese media: ‘There is a genuine cultural interchange here, but it appears to transpire as a two-way street, with Chinese classical music coming this way and Western music going that way.’
All of this is much to be applauded – except in Europe, where multiple orchestral tours have led to no significant involvement. Europe lags far behind the leading US orchs in China, and it may be too late to catch up.