PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Orchestra is celebrating 40 years of official U.S.-China diplomatic ties with a new tour of China.
Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin will lead the tour in May to Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Shanghai, with Shanghai-born pianist Haochen Zhang as soloist.
The orchestra says that during a time of uncertainty in the countries' relations, they hope to serve as a "cultural bridge."
The tour will launch with a weeklong residency in Beijing that includes two concerts, panel discussions, a chamber performance with musicians of the National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, and performances during the China International Music Competition.
It marks the orchestra's 12th tour of China.
Under legendary conductor Eugene Ormandy, it was the first U.S. orchestra to visit China in 1973 as part of a historic thaw in relations between the two countries.