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The SSO returns to China

Scott Kinmont and Jiwen Hu. Photo Edmund Ong

Students at Shanghai’s Jian Ping High School and Shanghai Orchestra Academy enjoyed meeting and learning from the musicians of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on the Orchestra’s fifth tour to China, led by Chief Conductor and Artistic Director David Robertson. An SSO String Quartet travelled to the High School to hold a lunchtime performance and Q & A session, answering questions about the life of a professional orchestral musician. The musicians of the SSO, including Scott Kinmont (pictured), also gave two days of masterclasses at Shanghai Orchestra Academy, working in small groups and one-on-one with the students. Concertmaster Andrew Haveron and Principal Cello Umberto Clerici auditioned strings students at the Academy for three Sydney-based performance residencies that will take place later in the year.

Concert highlights of the tour included the performance of the Chinese premiere of Australian composer Nigel Westlake’s Spirit of the Wild, a piece of music inspired by the Tasmanian wilderness and written for the prodigious talents of Principal Oboe Diana Doherty. The tour concluded with a gala concert at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, with whom the SSO re-signed a Memorandum of Understanding demonstrating a continued shared commitment to working together. The Australian Embassy, Beijing, welcomed the SSO musicians, Mr Robertson and incoming SSO CEO Emma Dunch at a post-concert reception celebrating the 45th anniversary of Australia-China diplomatic relations and the role of arts and culture in building relationships between our countries.

Students at Jian Ping High School. Photo: Daniela Testa