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Asia tour

October 18, 2016

Members of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra on the 1947 Transcontinental Tour

In 1928, the San Francisco Symphony went on its first tour. The musicians packed up their instruments and headed to Los Angeles by train while the Los Angeles Philharmonic did the same in the opposite direction.

Sensing they could be more ambitious, in 1947 the Orchestra traveled across the country playing 56 concerts in 57 days and covering 9,000 miles. It was quite the trek.

Sensing they could be more ambitious, in 1947 the Orchestra traveled across the country playing 56 concerts in 57 days and covering 9,000 miles. It was quite the trek.

This November, the Symphony follows in that tradition by embarking on a two-week tour of Asia, its fourth with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and eighth in total to Asia.

For a preview of the music that will be played in Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, and many more cities, hear MTT leading Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto with Yuja Wang, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, and MTT’s own composition, Agnegram, November 2–4.

The tour combines familiar favorites such as pianist Yuja Wang performing Chopin and Shostakovich with new endeavors for the Symphony like concerts in Seoul, Osaka, and Tainan.

For Associate Principal Viola Yun Jue Liu, returning to his hometown of Shanghai is a welcome chance to see family, reconnect with friends, and perform for what he characterizes as an audience that’s young and eager to hear great music.

MTT is also looking forward to reaching new concert-goers, “On this tour, we are bringing the adventurous spirit and generosity of San Francisco to audiences across the Pacific.”

That spirit and generosity will be on display with ten scheduled concerts along with masterclasses led by MTT and Symphony musicians with students from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Shanghai Orchestra Academy.

These concerts and classes have one overarching goal: to bring people together through music. “Our Orchestra is like a city,” notes MTT. “Sharing that energy through music with new people is always a great pleasure.”

For more information, and a chance to follow along with the Symphony’s travels through daily updates, photos, and more, click here.

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