In early June, The Philadelphia Orchestra completed a tour of China, Mongolia, and South Korea. With Mongolia in financial crisis, the fate of that leg of the tour was uncertain for some time. In the end, 18 musicians—one-fifth of the group—made the trip to Mongolia. The orchestra’s members are represented by Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA).
Initially, the full orchestra was slated to visit Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar, but due in part to China’s economic slowdown, Mongolia soon found itself in a dire financial situation. Still, the Mongolian government and the US State Department came up with enough money to bring in a smaller Philadelphia Orchestra contingent for a series of concerts and master classes.
The anchor of the Asian tour was a televised performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. The orchestra is in its second five-year agreement ensuring annual concerts in that city and is also beginning two five-year agreements in Shanghai.