Breaking: Philly cracks 5-year deal with Beijing

Breaking: Philly cracks 5-year deal with Beijing


norman lebrecht

December 12, 2019

The Philadelphia Orchestra has done a five-year deal with the China Conservatory of Music to accompany the now-annual China International Music Competition.

In the next contest, held in Beijing next May, 24 violinists from around the world, aged 16 and 28, will contest a first prize worth US$150,000, with second and third prizes of US$75,000 and US$30,000.

The inaugural Competition this year, won by Canadian pianist Tony Siqi Yun, had Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the Phillies in the final.


In the years to come, players from the Orchestra will also be involved in coaching, master classes, and joint music-making opportunities with the students and faculty of the China Conservatory of Music.


  • Dbarbirolli says:

    Something is not computing here. Recently the Eastman Philharmonia cancelled a tour to China because Koreans weren’t allowed into the country. Will Koreans in the Philly also be uninvited?

    • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

      I think that all of the PhilaOrch musicians of Korean origin or heritage are now American citizens or at least permanent US residents with a green card.

      The Korean students from Eastman were in the USA on student visas, I believe.

      That said, I find the vagaries of the Chinese government inconsistent and disturbing especially when dealing with visiting musicians.

  • IVTR says:

    another competition that needs transparency …

  • MacroV says:

    Seems like a bit of needless gold-plating; surely one of the local Chinese orchestras would be up to the task?

    • Caranome says:

      it’s all about buying prestige, and therefore, respect, just like Hermes, Gucci, Rolex, Rolls Royce etc. They have the money, and American orchestras need the money.

    • fflambeau says:

      Probably not, at this moment.

      I think that’s why it’s a five year deal. The Chinese will steal from the Philly and create their own orchestra in five years (they like 5 year plans). They are very nationalistic and do the same thing in economics and business.

      Smart for the Philly but good for a limited time only.

      • anon says:

        Yes, indeed.

        Probably bad long term also for US conservatories who currently fill their ranks with Chinese nationals. Soon the Chinese will have better opportunities at home.

  • Emmanuel says:

    Aah some more fine china-ass-lickery!