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Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and The New York
Philharmonic Orchestra
Great Lawn
Central Park, New York City
July 13, 2010

Written by Wendy R. Williams

Photos Courtesy of Patrick McMillan

Opposite Photo:
Shelley Rubin, Donald Rubin
and Lang Lang

Once upon a time there was a great wall around China. Not the Great Wall that bisects the country's interior but the wall around the heart and soul of China. From the time the Communists took over the government of China in 1949, there was no tourism between China and the United States until the US table tennis team was invited to China in 1971. Since that first visit, the wall has slowly melted and today traveling to China is a destination for many a traveler and huge bus loads of Chinese tourists traverse the United States.

On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, the New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks (presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer) hosted the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. The free concert was held on the Great Lawn of New York's Central Park. The performance celebrated The World Expo 2010 Shanghai and the partnership of the two cities.

Iris Behler, Albert Behler and Angela Chen, Director of China Arts

Padma Lakshmi
Tia Walker and Geoffrey Bradfield

Jake Sokol, Angela Chen, Theodore Forstmann,
Hank Greenberg and Corine Greenberg

Before the concert began, Angela Chen, director of the China Arts Foundation, arranged a small informal reception under tented awnings to the side of the stage. Chen also arranged seating during the concert for guest that included: Geoffrey Bradfield, Ron Chernow, Theodore Forstmann, Hank Greenberg, William Haseltine, Meredith Ostrom, Padma Lakshmi, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Rubin and designer Zang Toi. The China Arts Foundation (CAF) is a non-profit organization that supports art performances and cultural events that involves Sino-international relations and exchanges.

Pianist Lang Lang and Shanghai Symphony Maestro Long Yu

The partygoers then left the enclave and walked to the VIP section of the park to hear the performance.

The Shanghai Symphony performed first. The Symphony is conducted by Maestro Long Yu. Guest performers were renowned pianist Lang Lang and vocalists Ying Huang and Chang Yong Liao. The Shanghai Orchestra began their performance with Wagner's "Tannhauser Overture" and then played selections from Rossini, Gounod and Mozart. The Orchestra then played an original piece that was composed in honor of the World Expo which takes place in Shanghai from May 1 – October 31, 2010 (the first time the World Expo has been hosted in China). This piece was Guang Zhao's "Ode to the Expo." The Orchestra ended its performance with Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with piano accompaniment by Lang Lang.

There was a short break and then the New York Philharmonic, under direction of Andrey Boreyko, took to the stage. The Philharmonic played selections from Tchaikovsky, Bernstein and Ravel.

The two hour concert was followed by fireworks that lit up the New York skyline. It was a beautiful evening in a beautiful park.

Click here for the authorized biography of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

Shelley Rubin, Donald Rubin and Angela Chen

Shirley Young, Tiehui Weng and Angela Chen




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