Interview: Renowned U.S. orchestra expects to enhance cooperation with China
PHILADELPHIA, the United States, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The Philadelphia Orchestra expects to deepen its cooperation with Chinese partners, a senior executive of the orchestra has said.
"It's such a powerful experience to be able to use music to connect people from the United States and China," Ryan Fleur, executive director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"The Philadelphia Orchestra is highly committed to deepening the relationship with China in the years ahead," he added.
Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra is renowned for a long and distinguished history of touring the world. The orchestra's lasting ties with China mark a significant chapter in its century-old history.
In 1973, at the invitation by then U.S. President Richard Nixon, it became the first American orchestra to visit the People's Republic of China -- a trip considered a key part of Washington's rapprochement with Beijing in the 1970s.
The Philadelphia Orchestra's relationship with China predated the official ties between the two countries, said the senior executive, adding that his orchestra's bond with China has withstood the ups and downs in bilateral ties on the national level.
"The constant is that we're still making music and connecting with people," said Fleur, who has been to China 13 times in the last seven years in an effort to strengthen the orchestra's partnership with the Asian country.
"We're thrilled to be the vehicle to try to bring the world a little closer," he said.
Fleur believes in the power of music, noting that the beauty of melodies "transcends language, culture and boundaries," which is an important instrument for facilitating U.S.-China cultural exchanges and improve mutual understanding.
Through musical and cultural exchanges, "we could find a lot in common," and that kind of people-to-people connection "is particularly important when we are from two great countries that represent such a large part of the world," said Fleur, who is also an experienced pianist.
The Philadelphia Orchestra's interaction with the Chinese counterparts has been flourishing since its first historic visit to China about 46 years ago.
The orchestra enjoys a long-standing partnership with the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing and the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. In addition, it has worked with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra since 2016 in advancing cultural exchanges between the United States and China.
This May, it wrapped up its 12th tour to China, which was also aimed at marking the four-decade milestone in U.S.-China diplomatic relations.
The famed U.S. orchestra has held concerts in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, along with coaching sessions in Chinese colleges from May 16-28.
"We try to connect every year...The full orchestra would go back every year. And in between, we've developed many strategic partnerships in Beijing, Shanghai and throughout China with orchestras, performing art groups and media companies, to be able to use music to reach large numbers of people and to further relationships," Fleur said.