Ormandy in China:
On exhibit November 2, 2012 - Late 2014
The 1973 tour of China by the Philadelphia Orchestra marked an important milestone in the improvement of relations between the United States and the Peoples Republic of China in the early 1970s. Following on the heels of Ping Pong Diplomacy in 1971 and Richard Nixon's trip to visit Mao Zedong in 1972, the tour was a successful attempt at cultural diplomacy—the first visit to China by an American orchestra. In recognition of the fortieth anniversary of this historic tour, Ormandy in China reexamines the ten-day visit and places the tour in the context of the political and cultural climate of the time. The trip was full of surprises for Ormandy and the orchestra, ranging from program changes dictated by Madame Mao to an unexpected layover in Alaska on the return flight, but the tour was considered a great success and led to subsequent visits to China by the orchestra, most recently in spring 2012.