In Monday’s (5/27) Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns writes, “The Philadelphia Orchestra always expected to expand its pool of unlikely bedfellows in what is becoming its annual spring visit to China. But could anybody have predicted its new relationship with Shanghai’s most popular stand-up comedian? Next to such venerable sponsor names as Cigna and Drexel University for its 2013 Residency and 40th Anniversary Tour of China, which begins Tuesday, sits the logo of the Shanghai Charity Foundation showing a man in a hipster hat and bow tie—Zhou Libo, a dapper, surprisingly outspoken comic who has rock-star status in China. … With more arms than a centipede, the Philadelphia Orchestra now has the most diverse touring schedule in its history, including coaching sessions and joint concerts with local orchestras. In Shanghai, there will be a special National Children’s Day performance. In Beijing, musicians will play at the Picun Migrant Worker Village Elementary School. The June 5 concert at the Tianjin Grand Theatre includes a free, big-screen simulcast on the venue’s plaza, which can accommodate 10,000 people. … The Philadelphia Orchestra’s May 28-June 10 visit to China will include master classes with Chinese students; sectional coachings with local orchestras; performances at schools and hospitals; career lectures by orchestra administrators, managers, and musicians; and events commemorating the 1973 China visit.”

Posted May 28, 2013