The New York Philharmonic

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To Shanghai, with Love

Posted July 24, 2020

Though we can’t travel this year, we refused to let that stop us from participating in the annual Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Partnership, a joint endeavor between the New York Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, to help train and inspire the next generation of orchestral musicians through instructional and performance activities. The visit to China has been postponed to the summer of 2021. Starr International Foundation has been the Presenting Sponsor of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Partnership for six years.


Instead of planned trip to Shanghai for performances as well as instruction at the Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA), scheduled for last month, in July the Philharmonic is participating in a variety of online projects.


Today SOA launched a virtual side-by-side performance of a selection from the third movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, featuring 50 Philharmonic musicians and 30 SOA students, released today (above).


Three Philharmonic principal players are giving one-on-one masterclasses. They are Principal Associate Concertmaster Sheryl Staples, Principal Flute Robert Langevin, and Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi, to be shared with SOA students and with students at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and non-professional young players. Here’s one of them.


The new Philharmonic Sound of SOA series includes seven videos of past performances by Philharmonic musicians and SOA students. Each is introduced by a Philharmonic musician who participated in the performances: Concertmaster Frank Huang, violist Vivek Kamath, cellist Patrick Jee, Principal Flute Robert Langevin, Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi, Associate Principal Trombone Colin Williams, and Principal Tuba Alan Baer.  Here’s a taste.


Other activities include online auditions and a virtual graduation ceremony, which included a commencement address by Philharmonic President and CEO Deborah Borda. In it she said:


Music nurtures. Music heals. Now and in the years to come, more than ever, the world will need music. Yes, much is uncertain about the coming months and years, but one thing is sure. Music will be needed. And you will be needed. Yours is the generation that will create the new paradigm for music in a world that is changing quickly, and you have the tools to meet that challenge. You will help to forge a more profound connection, and more timely connection, between our music and our public.”


Learn more about this international collaboration — including photos and video of past highlights, and how to enroll —


See you next summer!