Australia-China Council

Sydney Symphony China Tour 2012: Music, Cultural Diplomacy and Shared Experiences

We have been one of many proud supporters of the ground-breaking 2012 China tour by Australia's leading cultural envoys - the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

members of the Sydney Symphony standing in a line at the front of Beijing's performing arts centre
Sydney Symphony at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing)

The Sydney Symphony travelled to China in October 2012 for a concert tour and collaborative residency programs with its major partner Xinghai Conservatory in Guangzhou and masterclasses at the Shanghai Conservatory. The tour was also a concluding element of the official program to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Australia and China which marked by a commemorative event hosted by the Australian Embassy hosted a following the Beijing performance of the orchestra.

Adamson and Jeffes standing side by side in front of a banner
Australian Ambassador to China, HE Frances Adamson with Rory Jeffes, Managing Director, Sydney Symphony

The tour took Sydney Symphony to China's six major metropolises - Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Guangzhou and Wuhan where it performed at sold-out venues. In Guangzhou , in addition to the performances, the orchestra's Principal Conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy led the sectional rehearsals and workshops with the Sydney Symphony Principles and the Xinghai Conservatory student orchestra.

Conductor standing in the middle of the orchestra conducting them
Principal Conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy at the rehearsal with students from the Xinghai Conservatory

The tour reaffirmed the Sydney Symphony's partnership with the Xinghai Conservatory. The MOU between the partners was signed prior to the tour by Rory Jeffes, Managing Director in the presence of NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell.

Members of the Sydney Symphony also joined the Hon Simon Crean MP, Minister for the Arts in his official visit to China in December 2012 where students and staff at the Xinghai Conservatory participated in workshops conducted by the Sydney Symphony's Sun Yi, Associate Principal Violin and Kim Waldock, Head of Education in the presence of the Minister and his Chinese counterparts.

orchestra standing around as the conductor shakes a violinist's hand
Sydney Symphony performing in Qingdao

Following the tour, the Sydney Symphony has signed a further two cooperative agreements with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing and the Guangzhou Opera House.  These partnerships will enable cultural exchanges, musician residencies and the transfer of arts management skills.

Media:

The Sydney Morning Herald -  ‘Diplomacy conducted on a grand scale’

The Australian – ‘Music strikes a chord with Asia’

Australian Ambassador to China, HE Frances Adamson speaks about the Sydney Symphony China Tour

Sydney Symphony YouTube Channel

Sydney Symphony China Tour Blog

Visit the ACC's Sydney Symphony China Tour 2012 image gallery