BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) will tour China from Dec. 15 to 21, offering five concerts in four cities aimed at fostering creative collaborations between China and Wales, the orchestra announced Tuesday.
With Chinese Principal Guest Conductor Zhang Xian, the orchestra begins its tour with two concerts in Beijing. They will then travel to Changsha, Wuhan and Shenzhen.
According to BBC NOW, the visit marks the first time Zhang has toured her home country with a European symphony orchestra.
"I conduct a number of the Chinese orchestras on a regular basis, but this is the first time I have toured China with a European Orchestra. I am very much looking forward to introducing the musicians of BBC NOW to my own country, and I think that the cultural cooperation with my musicians and the musicians in Shenzhen will be extremely interesting for us all," Zhang said.
The tour is a result from the first Welsh cultural delegation visit to China in early 2017. It is being supported by British Council in China, Wales Arts International and the Arts Council of Wales.
It is also the final part of Inspiring Women in the Arts, a year-long campaign showcasing the work of female artists to inspire young Chinese generations. During the visit, Zhang and members of the orchestra will share their experiences with aspiring female leaders and musicians in a series of activities in the host cities.
Michael Garvey, Director of BBC NOW, said: "This tour offers a wonderful opportunity to build creative links with our partners in China, enhancing the close relationships that already exist between our two countries. I'm delighted that we will be able to work with key partners in the four cities to maximize the impact of our visit, and to provide opportunities for BBC NOW to directly engage with audiences and musicians in China."
Nick Marchand, Director Arts China and North-East Asia at British Council said: "The British Council is delighted to support the orchestra's tour with Zhang Xian, Chinese principal guest conductor and the first female to hold that role in a BBC Orchestra. With BBC NOW having first been part of a Welsh cultural delegation visit to China in early 2017, it is fantastic to see this UK-China cultural exchange come to fruition this year. We know it is going to be an inspiring visit, for both musicians and audience alike."