UK orch signs ‘royal’ liquor deal with China

UK orch signs ‘royal’ liquor deal with China


norman lebrecht

February 25, 2015

The UK Government is claiming a breakthrough in winning the first Chinese sponsorship for a British arts company. It’s worth half a million pounds over five years and it’s between Wuliangye Yibin Company, makers of a rice liquor, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, who don’t mind a drink.

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Liu Zhongguo, chairman of Wuliangye, said at a Downing Street reception: ‘This historic collaboration will integrate one of China’s premier beverage brands with classical Western music and we hope the sponsorship will inspire people to enjoy the harmonious balance of drinking fabulous alcohol while listening to world-class classical music. We look forward to strengthening the understanding and recognition between Eastern and Western culture for both the Chinese and British, and the great revitalization of the arts that this will bring.’

David Whelton, the Philharmonia’s managing director, is quoted in Chinese media saying: ‘ With the help of our orchestra, Wuliangye will get Royal favour and enter the UK market, and the global market.’ The Philharmonia’s patron is HRH Prince Charles. In Wuliangye’s press campaign in China, Prince Charles is mentioned several times as the ‘one who invited the chairman of Wuliangye to UK’.


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  • Rudolph Tang says:

    The whole gig impressed me as Wuliangye making PO its Royal liquor incubator. Wuliangye previously has zero sponsorship to a symphony orchestra in China except some B-movies. The move is clearly aiming to brand its liquor into the Royal Warrant of Appointment. Not sure if the Warrant applies to non-British brands.

  • Sardis says:

    Wuliangye is actually one of the more drinkable of Chinese liquors though still pretty strong. I like the idea.

  • Kirk says:

    I wouldn’t drink any beveridge from a country which massacres tigers in order to leave the carcase to soak in pure alcohol and produce “stimulating tiger wine”. Who knows what is in this other stuff Prince Charles has encouraged the importation of?