The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform at the Shanghai World Expo in May 2010, the orchestra announced at a September 8 press conference in Shanghai. The orchestra is the first U.S. cultural organization to confirm its participation at the Expo. The orchestra’s May 7 concert will take place during the first week of the Expo, which will run from May 1 to October 31, 2010 at sites on both sides of the Huangpu River in downtown Shanghai. The concert will take place at the new Expo Performance Center, which is currently under construction and will have a seating capacity of 18,000. “Since its first performance in Beijing and Shanghai in 1973,” said Shanghai Expo Bureau Deputy Director General Huang Jianzhi at the press conference, “the Philadelphia Orchestra has performed in China four times. We believe the tribute performance by the orchestra next year will not only bring excitement to the first inaugural week of Expo, but also will mark another historical page in China-U.S. relations.” Other organizations and officials in attendance at the press conference included the U.S. Consulate General, the State of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai American Chamber of Commerce, and Philadelphia Orchestra Vice President and General Manager Stephen Millen. “We are honored and excited about performing for the World Expo in Shanghai,” said Philadelphia Orchestra Executive Director and CEO Frank Slattery. In 1973, the Philadelphia Orchestra became the first U.S. orchestra to perform in China, following a request by President Nixon to serve as cultural ambassador in re-establishing ties with China.

Posted September 8, 2009