The New York Philharmonic at home at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center.

“The New York Philharmonic, saying it hoped to use culture to help ease political tensions, announced plans on Thursday for a summer tour in Asia, including stops in Hong Kong and Taiwan and a visit to mainland China by a small group of musicians,” writes Javier C. Hernández in Thursday’s (4/20) New York Times. “The tour will be the Philharmonic’s first visit to Asia since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when many countries in the region shut their borders. It comes amid rising tensions between the United States and China and concerns about the possibility of a crisis over Taiwan. Gary Ginstling, the Philharmonic’s incoming president and chief executive, said the orchestra hoped to show that music could help strengthen ties between the United States and Asian countries…. The New York Philharmonic’s Asia tour will include performances in … Hong Kong …  as well as performing arts centers in Taipei and Kaohsiung, a city in southern Taiwan…. Hong Kong is familiar terrain for the Philharmonic’s music director, Jaap van Zweden, who also leads the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra…. The Philharmonic is also working to strengthen ties with Taiwanese cultural groups; on Friday, it will present a concert at David Geffen Hall by the Taiwan Philharmonic.”