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2016 Asia, May 25: Beijing

May 25, 2016

Orchestra musicians make music and today some of them met music makers of a different sort when they visited the Eastman Music Company Factory in Beijing. Assistant Principal Bass Joseph Conyers tours the factory, which is the manufacturing center for the Orchestra’s “buy one, give one” partnership with the Eastman Music Company, which will put instruments in the hands of Philadelphia music students beginning this summer. Incorporating feedback from Philadelphia Orchestra musicians, Eastman has designed La Scala, a new line of instruments specifically developed for the program. For every instrument purchased from the La Scala line, one instrument will be given to a student in need in Philadelphia. The unprecedented partnership with Eastman is part of the Orchestra’s HEAR initiative, a portfolio of programs that promotes wellness, champions music education, eliminates barriers to accessing the Orchestra, and maximizes impact through research. Photo by Jan Regan.

Unfinished instruments line a shelf at the factory. Photo by Jan Regan.

Violinist Amy Oshiro-Morales imagines what playing a finished product would be like. Photo by Jan Regan.

Luthiers carefully assemble cellos. Photo by Jan Regan.

Acting Associate Principal Cello John Koen tries out a nearly completed instrument. Photo by Jan Regan. 

Philadelphia Orchestra President & CEO Allison Vulgamore joins children of the factory workers, perhaps one a future Fabulous Philadelphian, as they wait for a special performance by the Orchestra musicians to begin. Photo by Jan Regan.

(L to r): Acting Associate Principal Cello John Koen, violist Che-Hung Chen, Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales, Associate Concertmaster Ying Fu, and violinist Amy Oshiro-Morales perform Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet for an enthusiastic crowd of Eastman workers and their families. Photo by Jan Regan.

Photo by Jan Regan.

As part of our outreach activities, Orchestra members visited Beijing’s No. 12 High School, where students introduced some of their traditional Chinese instruments to the musicians, including violinist Jonathan Beiler.

The visit included a performance by some of the students. 

Then it was the Orchestra’s turn to perform. Cellist Alex Veltman, violist Renard Edwards, and violinists Jonathan Beiler and Mei Ching Huang played Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik.

All the performers gathered outside the high school for a photo.

The evening’s activities included a reception at the Penn Wharton China Center (PWCC), which featured a performance by Orchestra musicians. PWCC is the presenting sponsor for the Beijing leg of the Orchestra’s Tour. Z. John Zhang, professor at the Wharton School and director of the PWCC, spoke at the reception. Photo by Jan Regan.

Amy Gadsden, executive director for Global Initiatives at Penn and executive director of Penn China Initiatives, shared her appreciation for the partnership between Penn and the Orchestra. Photo by Jan Regan.

Allison Vulgamore also addressed the reception guests. Photo by Jan Regan.

Performing Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 2 at the reception are (l to r) Assistant Concertmaster Marc Rovetti, violinist William Polk, Assistant Principal Cello Yumi Kendall, and violist Burchard Tang. Photo by Jan Regan.