On Tuesday (4/19) at MusicalAmerica.com (subscription required), Rudolph Tang writes that China’s newest orchestra, the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, “is expected to launch on New Year’s Eve, bringing the total amount of western-styled orchestras on the mainland to 71…. Suzhou, population 10 million, is a favorite tourist destination in the Jiangsu province, located about 70 miles from Shanghai.” In 2011, during violinist Midori’s China tour, an orchestra had to be “hastily assembled” to perform with her at the new Suzhou Culture and Arts Center Concert Hall. “The immediate problem was resolved, but it was clear that Suzhou needed its own orchestra…. In 2015 … the project got underway in earnest…. Since the Suzhou SO was announced earlier this month, there has been a growing tide of national debate, primarily about how to justify yet another new orchestra in China…. Five orchestras—the Oriental Symphony Orchestra (Beijing), the Yellow River Symphony Orchestra (Zhengzhou, of Henan province), Baoding Symphony Orchestra (Baoding, Hebei province), Wenzhou City Symphony Orchestra, and Ningbo Symphony Orchestra (both of Zhejiang province)—have been launched in as many years. … Some worry that funding for all of these groups will run out quickly.”

Posted April 20, 2016