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New collaboration agreement for sister state orchestras – MSO and Sichuan Symphony Orchestra announce three-year partnership at 10th anniversary Chinese New Year Concert.

On Saturday 4 February, the MSO celebrated the Year of the Rabbit during its 10th annual Chinese New Year Concert, led by one of the most influential conductors in China’s musical landscape, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra (SSO), Darrell Ang, making his MSO debut.

Festivities included an exciting announcement about the future of the SSO and MSO.

The President of Sichuan Symphony, Mr Wu Lingfeng, joined MSO Chair David Li AM and Managing Director Sophie Galaise to announce a multi-year partnership between the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra, that will build on the sister-state relationship that was established between Sichuan Province and Victoria in 2015.

The new partnership entails a multi-faceted exchange program between the two orchestras. Partnership activities will include co-commissioning of Australian and Chinese works, sharing of knowledge in administration and operations, promotion of each other in home countries, and opportunities for musicians and chief conductor exchanges.

Recognised as a leader in orchestral management in the Asia-Pacific region, the MSO has enjoyed active participation and representation in China’s burgeoning western music sector for many years.

MSO Chairman David Li AM, alongside MSO Managing Director Sophie Galaise, said the new partnership offers another significant international alliance for the MSO.

“The MSO is proud to represent Australia and its artists on a global stage as a long-standing cultural ambassador,” said Li.

“This new agreement with the SSO compliments a growing network of creative partnerships with Singapore Symphony Group, National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yogyakarta Special Region and council membership for the Beijing Forum for the Performing Arts – a prestigious international collaborative network of some 50 leading international performing arts organisations. Last November we also signed a four-year cross-cultural partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra.”

In early 2022, the MSO participated in a digital exchange with the Beijing Forum for the Performing Arts (BFPA), which resulted in a digital exchange of performances, with MSO showcasing an NCPA Orchestra concert on its concert-viewing platform, MSO.LIVE. In turn, the MSO’s 2022 Chinese New Year Concert was broadcast globally in multiple languages through the BFPA’s online channels, achieving over 22 million views.

Sophie Galaise said the MSO is thrilled to be collaborating with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra from Victoria’s sister-state of Sichuan.

“The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has the wonderful honour of bringing people together through the shared language of music. As a truly global orchestra we are proud to foster, exchange and build cultural understanding, both within our vibrant city of Melbourne, and around the world. This new partnership with the SSO is an incredible opportunity for our musicians, artists and audiences,” Galaise said.

SSO President Mr Wu Lingfeng said the multi-year partnership will bring incredible cultural benefits to each city.

“As President of the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra I am thrilled to announce this exciting cross-cultural collaboration and formalise the symbiotic relationship between our two great orchestras and between the State of Victoria and the Sichuan Province,” he said. “The partnership will provide wonderful development and learning opportunities for the players of the SSO as well as the broader team that manages the SSO organisation. We look forward to sharing our music, our traditions and culture in this mutual exchange program.”

“The Chinese New Year Concert has been successfully held for ten sessions, becoming a shining brand for people-to-people exchanges between China and Australia. It is my hope that the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra continues to play an active role in making greater contributions to increasing understanding and deepening friendship between our two countries and two peoples,” said Xiao Qian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Commonwealth of Australia.

Also in attendance for the announcement were Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Tim Watts MP, Mr John Mullahy MP, State Member of Parliament, Acting Consul General from the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Melbourne, Mr Zeng Jianhua and Mr Song Yanqun, Minister Counsellor of Culture and Tourism at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, among others.

MSO’s Chinese New Year is proudly supported by:
Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, Ministry of Culture and Tourism China, Li Family Trust & National Foundation for Australia China Relations

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