Three students from the Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) will arrive in Sydney on Sunday to participate in a performance residency with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra(SSO), as the SSO continues its commitment to helping develop the next generation of Chineseorchestral musicians.
Violinist Minxian Sun (25), violist Kuan Liu (25) and double bassist Kaixuan Zhang (23) will spend twoweeks rehearsing and performing in the programs Belshazzar’s Feast and Bluebeard’s Castle: withBach and Brahms with Chief Conductor and Artistic Director David Robertson and the musicians ofthe SSO at the Sydney Opera House in a residency, held November 19 to December 3.
The students were selected by audition in September by SSO Concertmaster Andrew Haveron andPrincipal Cello Umberto Clerici when the SSO toured to Shanghai as part of its 2017 China tour. TheSSO held two days of masterclasses at SOA and auditioned strings players for the Sydneyopportunity.
Andrew Haveron, SSO Concertmaster, said: “The calibre of talent among the students whoauditioned was exceptionally high this year, which made choosing our guests a very difficultdecision. Our collaboration with SOA has been very successful in the past, with both the studentsand SSO musicians having a fabulous time working together in Sydney. The opportunity for anystudent to work in a professional orchestra is invaluable; it’s the type of experience that lasts for therest of your professional life.”
The SSO and SOA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015 to signify their commitment tostrengthening connections between their organisations and ensuring the success of classical music inChina through training the next generation of musicians.
Incoming SSO CEO Emma Dunch said: “The partnership between our organisations has been so successful because it continues to create reciprocal opportunities for SSO and SOA musicians to learn from one another in Sydney and China. We’re very excited to welcome these three incredibly talented musicians to be part of our orchestra for two weeks to perform in what will be our two season finale programs with David Robertson.”
Shanghai Orchestra Academy Executive Director Doug He said: “I am so pleased to see both the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the SSO sharing the same vision of cultivating the younger generation and providing opportunities through cultural exchange. It has been a great pleasure to work with the SSO to offer young musicians the experience of playing side-by-side with musicians at the top international level. During the past three years, this opportunity has allowed young Chinese professionals to expand their performance horizons, and understand a different culture.”
The SSO’s recent tour of China with Robertson marked its fifth visit to the mainland. As one of Australia’s leading cultural ambassadors in the Asia-Pacific region, the SSO shares strong relationships with several China-based institutions including the SOA and Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts.
The SOA’s mission is to train emerging musicians to become eminent performing artists in orchestras around the world. Inspired by Maestro Long Yu’s vision, the Academy was jointly founded by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
The Academy has several partnerships with leading orchestras in Asia, including the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong PhilharmonicOrchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra.