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China Tour - May 9-15, 2018


Standing Ovations and Cheers Greet Pacific Symphony in China!

From the Big Apple to Beijing and beyond, Pacific Symphony has been wowing audiences and proving once again that it is a world-class orchestra and a major ensemble to be reckoned with. 

Follow all the steps of the tour with hastag #PSTourChina on social media and on the Pacific Symphony blog.


Pacific Symphony has returned from its first-ever tour to China and first international tour since the Symphony toured European capitals in 2006. The five-city tour launched May 9, 2018 with a concert at the Shanghai Poly Grand Theatre, followed by performances in Hefei (capital of Anhui province), Wuxi (Jiangsu province), Chongqing (major city in southwest China), and Beijing. The final concert took place at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, colloquially known as “The Giant Egg” due to its distinctive dome-shaped, titanium and glass architecture. The Symphony’s tour included works by Leonard Bernstein in celebration of his centennial, as well as Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No. 2; Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky (arranged by Ravel); and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3, featuring soloist Pinchas Zukerman. The visit to China followed another important tour this season to New York City for the Orchestra’s Carnegie Hall debut on April 21, 2018.

Music Director Carl St.Clair“We are gratified to represent Southern California on this highly anticipated tour,” said Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St.Clair before setting off for China. “This is an artistic milestone for the orchestra, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be leading this exceptional group of musicians on its first tour to China. This is an artistically significant opportunity for Pacific Symphony to embrace cultural diplomacy and to carry the message of music’s universality across the ocean to the other side of the Pacific Rim. The halls we will be playing have all been built within the last ten years. Some of the world’s leading architects have created contemporary temples of music with stunning acoustics that will beautifully showcase the fine playing of our musicians.”

Carl St.Clair, who was personally mentored by Leonard Bernstein, presented works in honor of the composer’s centennial. “I carefully selected the repertoire for this tour to include quintessential American works such as Bernstein’s ‘Slava!’ ‘Mambo’ and Overture to ‘Candide,’ which show off Pacific Symphony’s energetic spirit and warm sonority.” He continued, “Additionally, we performed 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century masterworks by Mozart, Mussorgsky and Ravel that display Pacific Symphony’s incredible versatility and virtuosity.”

Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte said: “We are proud of the role we played as cultural ambassadors for Orange County and the community. As Pacific Symphony looks forward to its 40th anniversary next season, we are gratified by the support we have received from the diverse communities of Orange County over the decades. The county’s Asian-American population is the third largest in the country, and the Chinese community in particular has experienced explosive growth. Since 2013 we have been devoted to engaging with the Chinese communities of the region and building on its enthusiasm for symphonic music. Crossing the Pacific Rim to perform for the Chinese population on the mainland is the logical extension of the work we’ve been doing here in Orange County.”

Longtime Pacific Symphony supporters Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and Sally Segerstrom provided a major lead gift in support of the tour.

Violinist Pinchas Zukerman

“The Segerstrom family have been generous patrons throughout the 40-year history of Pacific Symphony. This latest gift is yet another example of their undying generous spirit and ongoing commitment to the unparalleled quality of life in Southern California. The institution is grateful to Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and Sally Segerstrom for their visionary commitment as lead sponsors of the tour,” commented Joann Leatherby, board chairman. “We are proud to have the opportunity to represent Orange County’s vibrant cultural arts scene to audiences across China.”

Pacific Symphony also received a dollar-for-dollar match up to $150,000 to support the tour from Overseas Business Consulting, Inc.

Pinchas Zukerman’s appearances with Pacific Symphony on tour were generously underwritten by Jerry and Terri Kohl. Additional major support for the tour was provided by Charles and Ling Zhang.

Watch behind-the-scenes videos from various stops on the tour: