Ormandy in China

Main content

Ormandy in China

The Historic 1973 Tour
Curated by Richard Griscom

The Invitation

The Invitation

The Trip to China

The Trip to China

Repertory for the Tour

Repertory for the Tour

Central Philharmonic Society

Central Philharmonic Society

Third Concert in Beijing

Third Concert in Beijing

The Orchestra as Tourists

The Orchestra as Tourists

Performances by the Chinese

Performances by the Chinese

After the Tour

After the Tour

Sound Recordings

Sound Recordings

Exhibition Poster

Introduction

The 1973 tour of the People's Republic of China by the Philadelphia Orchestra was a landmark political and cultural event. In the late 1960s, as tension mounted between China and the Soviet Union, the United States saw an opportunity to establish diplomatic ties with China and increase pressure on their common enemy, the Soviet Union. Following on the heels of Ping Pong Diplomacy (reciprocal visits by American and Chinese table tennis players) in 1971 and U.S. President Richard Nixon's trip to China in 1972, the tour by the Philadelphia Orchestra'the first trip to mainland China by an American orchestra'marked an important milestone in the improvement of relations between the two countries.

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 Jiang Qing (Mao Zedong's wife) to an unexpected layover in Alaska on the return flight, but the tour was considered a great success and eventually led to subsequent visits to China by the orchestra, most recently in spring 2012.

This exhibit was on display from November, 2012 through 2014. Unless otherwise noted, all materials are taken from the Eugene Ormandy Collection of the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Orchestra as Tourists

The orchestra came to China to be seen and heard, but they were also interested in exploring a country that had been inaccessible to most Westerners for decades. Their hosts were eager to oblige. Most stops on the carefully planned tourist itinerary were of interest; others-like the visit to a commune-were obligatory stops to be endured.

During their unscheduled time, orchestra members were free to roam the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, where one of them said they felt as exotic as giraffes," eliciting stares and giggles from onlookers. The Chinese were curious, but they were also friendly and welcoming. One afternoon, the orchestra's three trombonists took a Frisbee to a courtyard outside the hotel, and as they began throwing the disc, they caught the attention of a group of children. More Frisbees were pulled out of a bag, and soon the children were throwing them back and forth across the courtyard. The discs were left with the children, who had to be convinced that they could take them.

In Shanghai, violinist Robert De Pasquale was walking down a residential street when he heard, high above him, scales being played on a violin. As he looked up and listened, a crowd formed, and Pasquale motioned toward a balcony. The crowd shouted to attract the attention of the violinist, and a nine-year-old boy emerged. Once he had made his way down from the balcony, Pasquale gave him a lesson in the street, carefully correcting his hand position and approving of his bow technique.

Fig. 1: The first sightseeing stop for the orchestra was Zijin Cheng (Purple Forbidden City"), located in the middle of Beijing. It served as the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty (1420-1644) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and was the home of twenty-four emperors.

Fig. 2: Front row, beginning seventh from the left: flutist Murray W. Panitz (in checked shirt), board president C. Wanton Balis (in white shoes), Mrs. C. Wanton Balis, concertmaster Norman Carol (with arms crossed), and conductor Li Delun. Bassoonist Bernard Garfield is third from the right (in dark shirt).
The Summer Palace, located in northwest Beijing, is the largest and bestpreserved imperial garden in China, featuring villas, pavilions, and temples surrounding a central lake. The group is standing in front of the octagonal tower on Longevity Hill. While at the palace, the orchestra was served a seven-course lunch (including sea slugs) in the courtyard of a pavilion that had once been an imperial theater.

Fig. 3: The trip to the Great Wall, about an hour's drive north of Beijing, was one of the only times that Ormandy joined the orchestra for sightseeing during the tour. Throughout his career, Ormandy usually declined opportunities to explore the cities he visited. He typically left the hotel only to go to the concert hall for a rehearsal or performance. His wife once said, I've been all over the world. I haven't seen a thing. I spent all these tours in a hotel room with Gene." According to Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, Ormandy would take a nap in the afternoon, and at five o'clock he would have a very, very light meal, and he was there to conduct the Orchestra. That was the business of the time. He wouldn't spend his energy doing these other things."

Fig. 4: A few months before the tour, Theodore Hauptle, a member of the stage crew, tripped at the Saratoga Music Festival and hurt his elbow. In Beijing, he described the ailment to acupuncturist Dr. Chang Shu-wen, who stuck a needle in his hand and his elbow, and the pain disappeared. After news of the treatment spread, several orchestra members made appointments with Dr. Chang, who set up an office in the orchestra's hotel. Dr. Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, later said, As a doctor there, I expected I would be very busy. I hardly saw anybody on that trip. They were all running around. No one got intestinal illness. Everybody ran off to the local acupuncturist."

Fig. 5: On their last day in Shanghai, members of the orchestra took a three-hour cruise down the Huangpu River to the point where it flows into the Yangtze River. According to Daniel Webster, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphians ate apples and bananas as the erhus, sona, and sheng rattled and sang through folk songs and dances. China is rich in virtuoso players on these instruments."

Orchestra as Tourists

The orchestra came to China to be seen and heard, but they were also interested in exploring a country that had been inaccessible to most Westerners for decades. Their hosts were eager to oblige. Most stops on the carefully planned tourist itinerary were of interest; others-like the visit to a commune-were obligatory stops to be endured.

During their unscheduled time, orchestra members were free to roam the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, where one of them said they felt as exotic as giraffes," eliciting stares and giggles from onlookers. The Chinese were curious, but they were also friendly and welcoming. One afternoon, the orchestra's three trombonists took a Frisbee to a courtyard outside the hotel, and as they began throwing the disc, they caught the attention of a group of children. More Frisbees were pulled out of a bag, and soon the children were throwing them back and forth across the courtyard. The discs were left with the children, who had to be convinced that they could take them.

In Shanghai, violinist Robert De Pasquale was walking down a residential street when he heard, high above him, scales being played on a violin. As he looked up and listened, a crowd formed, and Pasquale motioned toward a balcony. The crowd shouted to attract the attention of the violinist, and a nine-year-old boy emerged. Once he had made his way down from the balcony, Pasquale gave him a lesson in the street, carefully correcting his hand position and approving of his bow technique.

Fig. 1: The first sightseeing stop for the orchestra was Zijin Cheng (Purple Forbidden City"), located in the middle of Beijing. It served as the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty (1420-1644) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and was the home of twenty-four emperors.

Fig. 2: Front row, beginning seventh from the left: flutist Murray W. Panitz (in checked shirt), board president C. Wanton Balis (in white shoes), Mrs. C. Wanton Balis, concertmaster Norman Carol (with arms crossed), and conductor Li Delun. Bassoonist Bernard Garfield is third from the right (in dark shirt).
The Summer Palace, located in northwest Beijing, is the largest and bestpreserved imperial garden in China, featuring villas, pavilions, and temples surrounding a central lake. The group is standing in front of the octagonal tower on Longevity Hill. While at the palace, the orchestra was served a seven-course lunch (including sea slugs) in the courtyard of a pavilion that had once been an imperial theater.

Fig. 3: The trip to the Great Wall, about an hour's drive north of Beijing, was one of the only times that Ormandy joined the orchestra for sightseeing during the tour. Throughout his career, Ormandy usually declined opportunities to explore the cities he visited. He typically left the hotel only to go to the concert hall for a rehearsal or performance. His wife once said, I've been all over the world. I haven't seen a thing. I spent all these tours in a hotel room with Gene." According to Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, Ormandy would take a nap in the afternoon, and at five o'clock he would have a very, very light meal, and he was there to conduct the Orchestra. That was the business of the time. He wouldn't spend his energy doing these other things."

Fig. 4: A few months before the tour, Theodore Hauptle, a member of the stage crew, tripped at the Saratoga Music Festival and hurt his elbow. In Beijing, he described the ailment to acupuncturist Dr. Chang Shu-wen, who stuck a needle in his hand and his elbow, and the pain disappeared. After news of the treatment spread, several orchestra members made appointments with Dr. Chang, who set up an office in the orchestra's hotel. Dr. Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, later said, As a doctor there, I expected I would be very busy. I hardly saw anybody on that trip. They were all running around. No one got intestinal illness. Everybody ran off to the local acupuncturist."

Fig. 5: On their last day in Shanghai, members of the orchestra took a three-hour cruise down the Huangpu River to the point where it flows into the Yangtze River. According to Daniel Webster, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphians ate apples and bananas as the erhus, sona, and sheng rattled and sang through folk songs and dances. China is rich in virtuoso players on these instruments."

Orchestra as Tourists

The orchestra came to China to be seen and heard, but they were also interested in exploring a country that had been inaccessible to most Westerners for decades. Their hosts were eager to oblige. Most stops on the carefully planned tourist itinerary were of interest; others-like the visit to a commune-were obligatory stops to be endured.

During their unscheduled time, orchestra members were free to roam the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, where one of them said they felt as exotic as giraffes," eliciting stares and giggles from onlookers. The Chinese were curious, but they were also friendly and welcoming. One afternoon, the orchestra's three trombonists took a Frisbee to a courtyard outside the hotel, and as they began throwing the disc, they caught the attention of a group of children. More Frisbees were pulled out of a bag, and soon the children were throwing them back and forth across the courtyard. The discs were left with the children, who had to be convinced that they could take them.

In Shanghai, violinist Robert De Pasquale was walking down a residential street when he heard, high above him, scales being played on a violin. As he looked up and listened, a crowd formed, and Pasquale motioned toward a balcony. The crowd shouted to attract the attention of the violinist, and a nine-year-old boy emerged. Once he had made his way down from the balcony, Pasquale gave him a lesson in the street, carefully correcting his hand position and approving of his bow technique.

Fig. 1: The first sightseeing stop for the orchestra was Zijin Cheng (Purple Forbidden City"), located in the middle of Beijing. It served as the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty (1420-1644) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and was the home of twenty-four emperors.

Fig. 2: Front row, beginning seventh from the left: flutist Murray W. Panitz (in checked shirt), board president C. Wanton Balis (in white shoes), Mrs. C. Wanton Balis, concertmaster Norman Carol (with arms crossed), and conductor Li Delun. Bassoonist Bernard Garfield is third from the right (in dark shirt).
The Summer Palace, located in northwest Beijing, is the largest and bestpreserved imperial garden in China, featuring villas, pavilions, and temples surrounding a central lake. The group is standing in front of the octagonal tower on Longevity Hill. While at the palace, the orchestra was served a seven-course lunch (including sea slugs) in the courtyard of a pavilion that had once been an imperial theater.

Fig. 3: The trip to the Great Wall, about an hour's drive north of Beijing, was one of the only times that Ormandy joined the orchestra for sightseeing during the tour. Throughout his career, Ormandy usually declined opportunities to explore the cities he visited. He typically left the hotel only to go to the concert hall for a rehearsal or performance. His wife once said, I've been all over the world. I haven't seen a thing. I spent all these tours in a hotel room with Gene." According to Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, Ormandy would take a nap in the afternoon, and at five o'clock he would have a very, very light meal, and he was there to conduct the Orchestra. That was the business of the time. He wouldn't spend his energy doing these other things."

Fig. 4: A few months before the tour, Theodore Hauptle, a member of the stage crew, tripped at the Saratoga Music Festival and hurt his elbow. In Beijing, he described the ailment to acupuncturist Dr. Chang Shu-wen, who stuck a needle in his hand and his elbow, and the pain disappeared. After news of the treatment spread, several orchestra members made appointments with Dr. Chang, who set up an office in the orchestra's hotel. Dr. Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, later said, As a doctor there, I expected I would be very busy. I hardly saw anybody on that trip. They were all running around. No one got intestinal illness. Everybody ran off to the local acupuncturist."

Fig. 5: On their last day in Shanghai, members of the orchestra took a three-hour cruise down the Huangpu River to the point where it flows into the Yangtze River. According to Daniel Webster, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphians ate apples and bananas as the erhus, sona, and sheng rattled and sang through folk songs and dances. China is rich in virtuoso players on these instruments."

Orchestra as Tourists

The orchestra came to China to be seen and heard, but they were also interested in exploring a country that had been inaccessible to most Westerners for decades. Their hosts were eager to oblige. Most stops on the carefully planned tourist itinerary were of interest; others-like the visit to a commune-were obligatory stops to be endured.

During their unscheduled time, orchestra members were free to roam the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, where one of them said they felt as exotic as giraffes," eliciting stares and giggles from onlookers. The Chinese were curious, but they were also friendly and welcoming. One afternoon, the orchestra's three trombonists took a Frisbee to a courtyard outside the hotel, and as they began throwing the disc, they caught the attention of a group of children. More Frisbees were pulled out of a bag, and soon the children were throwing them back and forth across the courtyard. The discs were left with the children, who had to be convinced that they could take them.

In Shanghai, violinist Robert De Pasquale was walking down a residential street when he heard, high above him, scales being played on a violin. As he looked up and listened, a crowd formed, and Pasquale motioned toward a balcony. The crowd shouted to attract the attention of the violinist, and a nine-year-old boy emerged. Once he had made his way down from the balcony, Pasquale gave him a lesson in the street, carefully correcting his hand position and approving of his bow technique.

Fig. 1: The first sightseeing stop for the orchestra was Zijin Cheng (Purple Forbidden City"), located in the middle of Beijing. It served as the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty (1420-1644) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and was the home of twenty-four emperors.

Fig. 2: Front row, beginning seventh from the left: flutist Murray W. Panitz (in checked shirt), board president C. Wanton Balis (in white shoes), Mrs. C. Wanton Balis, concertmaster Norman Carol (with arms crossed), and conductor Li Delun. Bassoonist Bernard Garfield is third from the right (in dark shirt).
The Summer Palace, located in northwest Beijing, is the largest and bestpreserved imperial garden in China, featuring villas, pavilions, and temples surrounding a central lake. The group is standing in front of the octagonal tower on Longevity Hill. While at the palace, the orchestra was served a seven-course lunch (including sea slugs) in the courtyard of a pavilion that had once been an imperial theater.

Fig. 3: The trip to the Great Wall, about an hour's drive north of Beijing, was one of the only times that Ormandy joined the orchestra for sightseeing during the tour. Throughout his career, Ormandy usually declined opportunities to explore the cities he visited. He typically left the hotel only to go to the concert hall for a rehearsal or performance. His wife once said, I've been all over the world. I haven't seen a thing. I spent all these tours in a hotel room with Gene." According to Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, Ormandy would take a nap in the afternoon, and at five o'clock he would have a very, very light meal, and he was there to conduct the Orchestra. That was the business of the time. He wouldn't spend his energy doing these other things."

Fig. 4: A few months before the tour, Theodore Hauptle, a member of the stage crew, tripped at the Saratoga Music Festival and hurt his elbow. In Beijing, he described the ailment to acupuncturist Dr. Chang Shu-wen, who stuck a needle in his hand and his elbow, and the pain disappeared. After news of the treatment spread, several orchestra members made appointments with Dr. Chang, who set up an office in the orchestra's hotel. Dr. Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, later said, As a doctor there, I expected I would be very busy. I hardly saw anybody on that trip. They were all running around. No one got intestinal illness. Everybody ran off to the local acupuncturist."

Fig. 5: On their last day in Shanghai, members of the orchestra took a three-hour cruise down the Huangpu River to the point where it flows into the Yangtze River. According to Daniel Webster, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphians ate apples and bananas as the erhus, sona, and sheng rattled and sang through folk songs and dances. China is rich in virtuoso players on these instruments."

Orchestra as Tourists

The orchestra came to China to be seen and heard, but they were also interested in exploring a country that had been inaccessible to most Westerners for decades. Their hosts were eager to oblige. Most stops on the carefully planned tourist itinerary were of interest; others-like the visit to a commune-were obligatory stops to be endured.

During their unscheduled time, orchestra members were free to roam the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, where one of them said they felt as exotic as giraffes," eliciting stares and giggles from onlookers. The Chinese were curious, but they were also friendly and welcoming. One afternoon, the orchestra's three trombonists took a Frisbee to a courtyard outside the hotel, and as they began throwing the disc, they caught the attention of a group of children. More Frisbees were pulled out of a bag, and soon the children were throwing them back and forth across the courtyard. The discs were left with the children, who had to be convinced that they could take them.

In Shanghai, violinist Robert De Pasquale was walking down a residential street when he heard, high above him, scales being played on a violin. As he looked up and listened, a crowd formed, and Pasquale motioned toward a balcony. The crowd shouted to attract the attention of the violinist, and a nine-year-old boy emerged. Once he had made his way down from the balcony, Pasquale gave him a lesson in the street, carefully correcting his hand position and approving of his bow technique.

Fig. 1: The first sightseeing stop for the orchestra was Zijin Cheng (Purple Forbidden City"), located in the middle of Beijing. It served as the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty (1420-1644) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and was the home of twenty-four emperors.

Fig. 2: Front row, beginning seventh from the left: flutist Murray W. Panitz (in checked shirt), board president C. Wanton Balis (in white shoes), Mrs. C. Wanton Balis, concertmaster Norman Carol (with arms crossed), and conductor Li Delun. Bassoonist Bernard Garfield is third from the right (in dark shirt).
The Summer Palace, located in northwest Beijing, is the largest and bestpreserved imperial garden in China, featuring villas, pavilions, and temples surrounding a central lake. The group is standing in front of the octagonal tower on Longevity Hill. While at the palace, the orchestra was served a seven-course lunch (including sea slugs) in the courtyard of a pavilion that had once been an imperial theater.

Fig. 3: The trip to the Great Wall, about an hour's drive north of Beijing, was one of the only times that Ormandy joined the orchestra for sightseeing during the tour. Throughout his career, Ormandy usually declined opportunities to explore the cities he visited. He typically left the hotel only to go to the concert hall for a rehearsal or performance. His wife once said, I've been all over the world. I haven't seen a thing. I spent all these tours in a hotel room with Gene." According to Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, Ormandy would take a nap in the afternoon, and at five o'clock he would have a very, very light meal, and he was there to conduct the Orchestra. That was the business of the time. He wouldn't spend his energy doing these other things."

Fig. 4: A few months before the tour, Theodore Hauptle, a member of the stage crew, tripped at the Saratoga Music Festival and hurt his elbow. In Beijing, he described the ailment to acupuncturist Dr. Chang Shu-wen, who stuck a needle in his hand and his elbow, and the pain disappeared. After news of the treatment spread, several orchestra members made appointments with Dr. Chang, who set up an office in the orchestra's hotel. Dr. Edward D. Viner, the orchestra's physician, later said, As a doctor there, I expected I would be very busy. I hardly saw anybody on that trip. They were all running around. No one got intestinal illness. Everybody ran off to the local acupuncturist."

Fig. 5: On their last day in Shanghai, members of the orchestra took a three-hour cruise down the Huangpu River to the point where it flows into the Yangtze River. According to Daniel Webster, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphians ate apples and bananas as the erhus, sona, and sheng rattled and sang through folk songs and dances. China is rich in virtuoso players on these instruments."

Performances by the Chinese

While in China, the orchestra members played a role they had anticipated would be central to their invitation: as spectators for a showcase of China's best musicians. Most of the performances-in schools, concert halls, and outdoor theaters-were of Chinese traditional music, and it was clear that the Chinese government considered this to be the music of its people.

Fig. 1: The first activity for the orchestra after arriving in Beijing was a concert presented by the Central Philharmonic Society, which opened with a chorus singing America the Beautiful" and two contemporary Chinese patriotic songs. Much of the balance of the program featured soloists performing on Chinese instruments (sheng, erhu, cheng, pan-hu, and pipa). The compositions were primarily modern Chinese and bore programmatic titles (for example, Delivering Public Grain Joyfully" and The Red Army Has Come Back"). Near the end of the first half was a brief performance by pianist Liu Shih-kun, winner of second prize in the 1958 International Tchaikovsky Competition (the year that American Van Cliburn had won first place). The finale was a setting of five poems by Chairman Mao, scored for solo singers, chorus, and orchestra.

Fig. 2: After checking into their hotel in Shanghai, orchestra members were bused to the Children's Palace, a large, sprawling center for cultural, scientific, and physical extracurricular activities. It was one of more than twenty similar institutions in Shanghai. Orchestra members visited classroom sessions in needlepoint, gymnastics, ballet, metalwork, science, and instrumental and choral music.

Fig. 3: The visit to the Children's Palace concluded with a performance in the school's theater that featured a rendition of America the Beautiful" performed by nine pipa players. The audience also heard piano solos, a violin ensemble, and an accordion ensemble. According to Louis Hood, the orchestra's director of public relations, the finale of the performance was a propaganda ballet illustrating that children should love and help one another. It was based in a snowy setting and seemed a salute to the absolute bliss of shoveling snow and then building a snowman for smaller kids to enjoy."

Performances by the Chinese

While in China, the orchestra members played a role they had anticipated would be central to their invitation: as spectators for a showcase of China's best musicians. Most of the performances-in schools, concert halls, and outdoor theaters-were of Chinese traditional music, and it was clear that the Chinese government considered this to be the music of its people.

Fig. 1: The first activity for the orchestra after arriving in Beijing was a concert presented by the Central Philharmonic Society, which opened with a chorus singing America the Beautiful" and two contemporary Chinese patriotic songs. Much of the balance of the program featured soloists performing on Chinese instruments (sheng, erhu, cheng, pan-hu, and pipa). The compositions were primarily modern Chinese and bore programmatic titles (for example, Delivering Public Grain Joyfully" and The Red Army Has Come Back"). Near the end of the first half was a brief performance by pianist Liu Shih-kun, winner of second prize in the 1958 International Tchaikovsky Competition (the year that American Van Cliburn had won first place). The finale was a setting of five poems by Chairman Mao, scored for solo singers, chorus, and orchestra.

Fig. 2: After checking into their hotel in Shanghai, orchestra members were bused to the Children's Palace, a large, sprawling center for cultural, scientific, and physical extracurricular activities. It was one of more than twenty similar institutions in Shanghai. Orchestra members visited classroom sessions in needlepoint, gymnastics, ballet, metalwork, science, and instrumental and choral music.

Fig. 3: The visit to the Children's Palace concluded with a performance in the school's theater that featured a rendition of America the Beautiful" performed by nine pipa players. The audience also heard piano solos, a violin ensemble, and an accordion ensemble. According to Louis Hood, the orchestra's director of public relations, the finale of the performance was a propaganda ballet illustrating that children should love and help one another. It was based in a snowy setting and seemed a salute to the absolute bliss of shoveling snow and then building a snowman for smaller kids to enjoy."

Performances by the Chinese

While in China, the orchestra members played a role they had anticipated would be central to their invitation: as spectators for a showcase of China's best musicians. Most of the performances-in schools, concert halls, and outdoor theaters-were of Chinese traditional music, and it was clear that the Chinese government considered this to be the music of its people.

Fig. 1: The first activity for the orchestra after arriving in Beijing was a concert presented by the Central Philharmonic Society, which opened with a chorus singing America the Beautiful" and two contemporary Chinese patriotic songs. Much of the balance of the program featured soloists performing on Chinese instruments (sheng, erhu, cheng, pan-hu, and pipa). The compositions were primarily modern Chinese and bore programmatic titles (for example, Delivering Public Grain Joyfully" and The Red Army Has Come Back"). Near the end of the first half was a brief performance by pianist Liu Shih-kun, winner of second prize in the 1958 International Tchaikovsky Competition (the year that American Van Cliburn had won first place). The finale was a setting of five poems by Chairman Mao, scored for solo singers, chorus, and orchestra.

Fig. 2: After checking into their hotel in Shanghai, orchestra members were bused to the Children's Palace, a large, sprawling center for cultural, scientific, and physical extracurricular activities. It was one of more than twenty similar institutions in Shanghai. Orchestra members visited classroom sessions in needlepoint, gymnastics, ballet, metalwork, science, and instrumental and choral music.

Fig. 3: The visit to the Children's Palace concluded with a performance in the school's theater that featured a rendition of America the Beautiful" performed by nine pipa players. The audience also heard piano solos, a violin ensemble, and an accordion ensemble. According to Louis Hood, the orchestra's director of public relations, the finale of the performance was a propaganda ballet illustrating that children should love and help one another. It was based in a snowy setting and seemed a salute to the absolute bliss of shoveling snow and then building a snowman for smaller kids to enjoy."

After the Tour - Sound Recordings

Within a few days of their return to Philadelphia, Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra presented the 1973-74 season Gala Opening Concert, featuring selections from the repertory covered during the tour. They also recorded an album devoted to the music performed in China, which received generally poor reviews and has never been reissued on compact disc. (The album was available for listening at the exhibit's iPod station.)

While Jiang Qing had willingly participated in the visit, during the weeks following the tour she was vocal in her opposition to strengthening cultural ties with the West. This might have been driven by her escalating power struggle with Zhou Enlai and her desire to distance herself from him politically. She also was angered when she learned about the New York Times articles written by Harold C. Schonberg, who had disparaged Chinese attempts at creating Western classical music, describing the Yellow River Concerto as movie music" and even a piece of trash" and remarking that the orchestra members referred to it as the Yellow Fever Concerto." These reviews, combined with memories of the offensive martial conclusion to The Pines of Rome and the unpleasant conversation she had with Ormandy during intermission, likely influenced her position on opposing further cultural diplomacy with the West.

While in China, Li Delun had given Eugene Ormandy a copy of a work titled Moon Reflected on Erquan Spring. In May 1974, Li received a letter from Ormandy reporting that he wanted to perform the work in a series of year-end Philadelphia Orchestra concerts in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Li forwarded the letter to Jiang, who referred the matter to her Cultural Group and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Chinese officials drafted a letter claiming that the composer of the work thought it had serious problems of artistic and social content and did not want it performed. Li was told to sign the letter, and it was sent to the Philadelphia Orchestra, which ended up abandoning plans to perform the work.

Fig. 1: Richard Nixon, pleased with the results of this effort at cultural diplomacy, wrote a letter of thanks to Ormandy during the week following their return. In the letter he alludes to the conflict with the Chinese over repertory.

Fig. 2: The 1973-74 opening gala had been scheduled for 19 September but was rescheduled to 27 September to accommodate the trip to China.

Fig. 3: This slip, taken from the official datebook documenting all performances of the orchestra, lists the details of the concert as published in the printed program. The work that generated the most controversy during the tour- Respighi's Pines of Rome-was not programmed. Pianist David Epstein, who had performed the Yellow River Concerto with the orchestra in Saratoga a year earlier, returned to recap his performance, and soon after this performance he recorded the work with the orchestra.

After the Tour - Sound Recordings

Within a few days of their return to Philadelphia, Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra presented the 1973-74 season Gala Opening Concert, featuring selections from the repertory covered during the tour. They also recorded an album devoted to the music performed in China, which received generally poor reviews and has never been reissued on compact disc. (The album was available for listening at the exhibit's iPod station.)

While Jiang Qing had willingly participated in the visit, during the weeks following the tour she was vocal in her opposition to strengthening cultural ties with the West. This might have been driven by her escalating power struggle with Zhou Enlai and her desire to distance herself from him politically. She also was angered when she learned about the New York Times articles written by Harold C. Schonberg, who had disparaged Chinese attempts at creating Western classical music, describing the Yellow River Concerto as movie music" and even a piece of trash" and remarking that the orchestra members referred to it as the Yellow Fever Concerto." These reviews, combined with memories of the offensive martial conclusion to The Pines of Rome and the unpleasant conversation she had with Ormandy during intermission, likely influenced her position on opposing further cultural diplomacy with the West.

While in China, Li Delun had given Eugene Ormandy a copy of a work titled Moon Reflected on Erquan Spring. In May 1974, Li received a letter from Ormandy reporting that he wanted to perform the work in a series of year-end Philadelphia Orchestra concerts in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Li forwarded the letter to Jiang, who referred the matter to her Cultural Group and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Chinese officials drafted a letter claiming that the composer of the work thought it had serious problems of artistic and social content and did not want it performed. Li was told to sign the letter, and it was sent to the Philadelphia Orchestra, which ended up abandoning plans to perform the work.

Fig. 1: Richard Nixon, pleased with the results of this effort at cultural diplomacy, wrote a letter of thanks to Ormandy during the week following their return. In the letter he alludes to the conflict with the Chinese over repertory.

Fig. 2: The 1973-74 opening gala had been scheduled for 19 September but was rescheduled to 27 September to accommodate the trip to China.

Fig. 3: This slip, taken from the official datebook documenting all performances of the orchestra, lists the details of the concert as published in the printed program. The work that generated the most controversy during the tour- Respighi's Pines of Rome-was not programmed. Pianist David Epstein, who had performed the Yellow River Concerto with the orchestra in Saratoga a year earlier, returned to recap his performance, and soon after this performance he recorded the work with the orchestra.

After the Tour - Sound Recordings

Within a few days of their return to Philadelphia, Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra presented the 1973-74 season Gala Opening Concert, featuring selections from the repertory covered during the tour. They also recorded an album devoted to the music performed in China, which received generally poor reviews and has never been reissued on compact disc. (The album was available for listening at the exhibit's iPod station.)

While Jiang Qing had willingly participated in the visit, during the weeks following the tour she was vocal in her opposition to strengthening cultural ties with the West. This might have been driven by her escalating power struggle with Zhou Enlai and her desire to distance herself from him politically. She also was angered when she learned about the New York Times articles written by Harold C. Schonberg, who had disparaged Chinese attempts at creating Western classical music, describing the Yellow River Concerto as movie music" and even a piece of trash" and remarking that the orchestra members referred to it as the Yellow Fever Concerto." These reviews, combined with memories of the offensive martial conclusion to The Pines of Rome and the unpleasant conversation she had with Ormandy during intermission, likely influenced her position on opposing further cultural diplomacy with the West.

While in China, Li Delun had given Eugene Ormandy a copy of a work titled Moon Reflected on Erquan Spring. In May 1974, Li received a letter from Ormandy reporting that he wanted to perform the work in a series of year-end Philadelphia Orchestra concerts in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Li forwarded the letter to Jiang, who referred the matter to her Cultural Group and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Chinese officials drafted a letter claiming that the composer of the work thought it had serious problems of artistic and social content and did not want it performed. Li was told to sign the letter, and it was sent to the Philadelphia Orchestra, which ended up abandoning plans to perform the work.

Fig. 1: Richard Nixon, pleased with the results of this effort at cultural diplomacy, wrote a letter of thanks to Ormandy during the week following their return. In the letter he alludes to the conflict with the Chinese over repertory.

Fig. 2: The 1973-74 opening gala had been scheduled for 19 September but was rescheduled to 27 September to accommodate the trip to China.

Fig. 3: This slip, taken from the official datebook documenting all performances of the orchestra, lists the details of the concert as published in the printed program. The work that generated the most controversy during the tour- Respighi's Pines of Rome-was not programmed. Pianist David Epstein, who had performed the Yellow River Concerto with the orchestra in Saratoga a year earlier, returned to recap his performance, and soon after this performance he recorded the work with the orchestra.

Repertory for the Tour

Ormandy was asked to submit a list of proposed repertory to the U.S. State Department, who forwarded it to the Chinese officials for their approval. Nicholas Platt wrote in his memoir that there was endless haggling, "negotiating music programs as if they were treaties." The Chinese rejected Richard Strauss's Don Juan and Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun as "prurient and decadent." They suggested instead Copland's Billy the Kid and anything by Mozart or Schubert. They also requested Beethoven's Symphony no. 6, but Ormandy refused to consider the work because he did not like it.

Despite Ormandy's efforts to conform to the wishes of the Chinese- who approved a list of proposed programs in advance of the tour- repertory again became an issue once the orchestra was on its way to China. The Chinese were insistent about including the Beethoven Symphony no. 6 because it was a work favored by Jiang Qing. (According to U.S. diplomat John H. Holdridge, the work had been performed by a Chinese orchestra for a concert hosted by Jiang during Henry Kissinger's October 1971 visit to China-perhaps the first performance of Western music in China since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.) Because the Philadelphia Orchestra had not planned to perform the work, they had to borrow a set of parts from the Central Philharmonic Society.

Ottorino Respighi's The Pines of Rome was approved by the Chinese- presumably because the title evoked gentle images of nature-but as became apparent during its performance, no one in authority had listened to the work before agreeing to its being programmed.

Third Concert in Beijing

The stakes were high for the third concert in Beijing. Jiang Qing had announced that she and other Chinese officials would be attending. Ormandy had already agreed to program the Beethoven Symphony no. 6 in place of the Symphony no. 5, in accordance with Jiang's request, and it took up the first half of the program. According to U.S. diplomat Nicholas Platt, who was seated two rows behind Jiang, she applauded after each movement and led a standing ovation at the end.

During the intermission, Jiang went backstage to meet Ormandy and to thank him for his support in 1940, when he participated in a benefit concert to raise money for the medical services of the Communist Eighth Route Army. Ormandy felt comfortable enough to ask Jiang about the ban on the performance of Russian music. Jiang replied that the Central Philharmonic Orchestra often played Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky. Ormandy pressed on, saying that he had wanted to play Tchaikovsky but was told it was not allowed. Jiang assured him that he was mistaken, ended the conversation, and returned to her seat.

Although the Chinese had agreed to the content of the program, apparently The Pines of Rome, which opened the second half, had been approved solely on the basis of its name. When the last movement, The Pines of the Appian Way," began, all was not well. According to Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai (Rhapsody in Red, 2004), Jiang Qing had apparently expected the music to be about pine trees, and only pine trees. When she heard the part that sounds like a military march drawing closer and growing louder she became increasingly agitated. This didn't sound like pines, she told Li Delun-it didn't even sound like a forest! What kind of music was this?!" Nicholas Platt wrote in his memoir that she chatted incessantly and wrote notes to colleagues throughout the Pines of Rome."

Fig. 1: The concert opened with Beethoven's Sixth, and the second half included Respighi's Pines of Rome (the titles of the four movements are listed in the program), Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, and the Yellow River Concerto. As an encore, pianist Yin Cheng-Chung performed his own set of variations on Home on the Range," and the orchestra performed an arrangement of the Chinese folk song San Pei." The dates in the top right corner show that this concert was repeated on 20 September in Shanghai.

The Americans were amused by the Home on the Range" variations. Yin apparently had prepared them at the request of Chinese officials because they understood Home on the Range" to be a sacred American song and a favorite of President Richard Nixon's.

Fig. 2: The Chinese characters over the stage read Welcome to the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra from the United States on Its Performance in China.

Fig. 3: Left to right, beginning with the third person from the left: Mrs. Richard C. Bond (wife of the president of the Philadelphia Orchestra), Yao Wenyuan (Politburo member), C. Wanton Balis Jr. (chairman of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association board), Wu De (chairman of the Beijing Revolutionary Committee and mayor of Beijing), Gretel Ormandy, Jiang Qing, David K. E. Bruce (head of the U.S. liaison office in Beijing), Ding Guoyu (member of the Central Committee), and Mrs. David Bruce. Conductor Li Delun is sitting behind Jiang Qing.

Third Concert in Beijing

The stakes were high for the third concert in Beijing. Jiang Qing had announced that she and other Chinese officials would be attending. Ormandy had already agreed to program the Beethoven Symphony no. 6 in place of the Symphony no. 5, in accordance with Jiang's request, and it took up the first half of the program. According to U.S. diplomat Nicholas Platt, who was seated two rows behind Jiang, she applauded after each movement and led a standing ovation at the end.

During the intermission, Jiang went backstage to meet Ormandy and to thank him for his support in 1940, when he participated in a benefit concert to raise money for the medical services of the Communist Eighth Route Army. Ormandy felt comfortable enough to ask Jiang about the ban on the performance of Russian music. Jiang replied that the Central Philharmonic Orchestra often played Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky. Ormandy pressed on, saying that he had wanted to play Tchaikovsky but was told it was not allowed. Jiang assured him that he was mistaken, ended the conversation, and returned to her seat.

Although the Chinese had agreed to the content of the program, apparently The Pines of Rome, which opened the second half, had been approved solely on the basis of its name. When the last movement, The Pines of the Appian Way," began, all was not well. According to Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai (Rhapsody in Red, 2004), Jiang Qing had apparently expected the music to be about pine trees, and only pine trees. When she heard the part that sounds like a military march drawing closer and growing louder she became increasingly agitated. This didn't sound like pines, she told Li Delun-it didn't even sound like a forest! What kind of music was this?!" Nicholas Platt wrote in his memoir that she chatted incessantly and wrote notes to colleagues throughout the Pines of Rome."

Fig. 1: The concert opened with Beethoven's Sixth, and the second half included Respighi's Pines of Rome (the titles of the four movements are listed in the program), Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, and the Yellow River Concerto. As an encore, pianist Yin Cheng-Chung performed his own set of variations on Home on the Range," and the orchestra performed an arrangement of the Chinese folk song San Pei." The dates in the top right corner show that this concert was repeated on 20 September in Shanghai.

The Americans were amused by the Home on the Range" variations. Yin apparently had prepared them at the request of Chinese officials because they understood Home on the Range" to be a sacred American song and a favorite of President Richard Nixon's.

Fig. 2: The Chinese characters over the stage read Welcome to the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra from the United States on Its Performance in China.

Fig. 3: Left to right, beginning with the third person from the left: Mrs. Richard C. Bond (wife of the president of the Philadelphia Orchestra), Yao Wenyuan (Politburo member), C. Wanton Balis Jr. (chairman of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association board), Wu De (chairman of the Beijing Revolutionary Committee and mayor of Beijing), Gretel Ormandy, Jiang Qing, David K. E. Bruce (head of the U.S. liaison office in Beijing), Ding Guoyu (member of the Central Committee), and Mrs. David Bruce. Conductor Li Delun is sitting behind Jiang Qing.

Third Concert in Beijing

The stakes were high for the third concert in Beijing. Jiang Qing had announced that she and other Chinese officials would be attending. Ormandy had already agreed to program the Beethoven Symphony no. 6 in place of the Symphony no. 5, in accordance with Jiang's request, and it took up the first half of the program. According to U.S. diplomat Nicholas Platt, who was seated two rows behind Jiang, she applauded after each movement and led a standing ovation at the end.

During the intermission, Jiang went backstage to meet Ormandy and to thank him for his support in 1940, when he participated in a benefit concert to raise money for the medical services of the Communist Eighth Route Army. Ormandy felt comfortable enough to ask Jiang about the ban on the performance of Russian music. Jiang replied that the Central Philharmonic Orchestra often played Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky. Ormandy pressed on, saying that he had wanted to play Tchaikovsky but was told it was not allowed. Jiang assured him that he was mistaken, ended the conversation, and returned to her seat.

Although the Chinese had agreed to the content of the program, apparently The Pines of Rome, which opened the second half, had been approved solely on the basis of its name. When the last movement, The Pines of the Appian Way," began, all was not well. According to Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai (Rhapsody in Red, 2004), Jiang Qing had apparently expected the music to be about pine trees, and only pine trees. When she heard the part that sounds like a military march drawing closer and growing louder she became increasingly agitated. This didn't sound like pines, she told Li Delun-it didn't even sound like a forest! What kind of music was this?!" Nicholas Platt wrote in his memoir that she chatted incessantly and wrote notes to colleagues throughout the Pines of Rome."

Fig. 1: The concert opened with Beethoven's Sixth, and the second half included Respighi's Pines of Rome (the titles of the four movements are listed in the program), Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, and the Yellow River Concerto. As an encore, pianist Yin Cheng-Chung performed his own set of variations on Home on the Range," and the orchestra performed an arrangement of the Chinese folk song San Pei." The dates in the top right corner show that this concert was repeated on 20 September in Shanghai.

The Americans were amused by the Home on the Range" variations. Yin apparently had prepared them at the request of Chinese officials because they understood Home on the Range" to be a sacred American song and a favorite of President Richard Nixon's.

Fig. 2: The Chinese characters over the stage read Welcome to the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra from the United States on Its Performance in China.

Fig. 3: Left to right, beginning with the third person from the left: Mrs. Richard C. Bond (wife of the president of the Philadelphia Orchestra), Yao Wenyuan (Politburo member), C. Wanton Balis Jr. (chairman of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association board), Wu De (chairman of the Beijing Revolutionary Committee and mayor of Beijing), Gretel Ormandy, Jiang Qing, David K. E. Bruce (head of the U.S. liaison office in Beijing), Ding Guoyu (member of the Central Committee), and Mrs. David Bruce. Conductor Li Delun is sitting behind Jiang Qing.

Third Concert in Beijing

The stakes were high for the third concert in Beijing. Jiang Qing had announced that she and other Chinese officials would be attending. Ormandy had already agreed to program the Beethoven Symphony no. 6 in place of the Symphony no. 5, in accordance with Jiang's request, and it took up the first half of the program. According to U.S. diplomat Nicholas Platt, who was seated two rows behind Jiang, she applauded after each movement and led a standing ovation at the end.

During the intermission, Jiang went backstage to meet Ormandy and to thank him for his support in 1940, when he participated in a benefit concert to raise money for the medical services of the Communist Eighth Route Army. Ormandy felt comfortable enough to ask Jiang about the ban on the performance of Russian music. Jiang replied that the Central Philharmonic Orchestra often played Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky. Ormandy pressed on, saying that he had wanted to play Tchaikovsky but was told it was not allowed. Jiang assured him that he was mistaken, ended the conversation, and returned to her seat.

Although the Chinese had agreed to the content of the program, apparently The Pines of Rome, which opened the second half, had been approved solely on the basis of its name. When the last movement, The Pines of the Appian Way," began, all was not well. According to Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai (Rhapsody in Red, 2004), Jiang Qing had apparently expected the music to be about pine trees, and only pine trees. When she heard the part that sounds like a military march drawing closer and growing louder she became increasingly agitated. This didn't sound like pines, she told Li Delun-it didn't even sound like a forest! What kind of music was this?!" Nicholas Platt wrote in his memoir that she chatted incessantly and wrote notes to colleagues throughout the Pines of Rome."

Fig. 1: The concert opened with Beethoven's Sixth, and the second half included Respighi's Pines of Rome (the titles of the four movements are listed in the program), Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, and the Yellow River Concerto. As an encore, pianist Yin Cheng-Chung performed his own set of variations on Home on the Range," and the orchestra performed an arrangement of the Chinese folk song San Pei." The dates in the top right corner show that this concert was repeated on 20 September in Shanghai.

The Americans were amused by the Home on the Range" variations. Yin apparently had prepared them at the request of Chinese officials because they understood Home on the Range" to be a sacred American song and a favorite of President Richard Nixon's.

Fig. 2: The Chinese characters over the stage read Welcome to the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra from the United States on Its Performance in China.

Fig. 3: Left to right, beginning with the third person from the left: Mrs. Richard C. Bond (wife of the president of the Philadelphia Orchestra), Yao Wenyuan (Politburo member), C. Wanton Balis Jr. (chairman of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association board), Wu De (chairman of the Beijing Revolutionary Committee and mayor of Beijing), Gretel Ormandy, Jiang Qing, David K. E. Bruce (head of the U.S. liaison office in Beijing), Ding Guoyu (member of the Central Committee), and Mrs. David Bruce. Conductor Li Delun is sitting behind Jiang Qing.

Trip to China

The Flight

The Pan American Airways charter "Clipper Philadelphia Orchestra" flew from Philadelphia's new Overseas Terminal to Honolulu with a brief stop in San Francisco. While in Honolulu, the orchestra gathered for a social event with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, who were en route to Australia and New Zealand. In Honolulu, principal trumpet Gilbert Johnson realized that he had forgotten his passport, and once the orchestra had reached Tokyo, the departure to China was delayed while Johnson filled out paperwork for a replacement.

Nicholas Platt, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing, waited to greet the orchestra in Shanghai. With him was Situ Huacheng, concertmaster of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, who would be hosting the Philadelphia Orchestra in Beijing. While waiting for the orchestra to arrive from Tokyo, Situ explained to Platt that the orchestra's programs-which had been negotiated extensively over the months leading up to the tour-would need to be revised further. The number of concerts was to be reduced from seven to five (three in Beijing and two in Shanghai), and the Beethoven Symphony no. 6 was to be added to the repertory.

On the flight from Shanghai to Beijing, Platt related these changes to Ormandy. According to Platt, Ormandy replied, "If that's what they want, that's what they shall have. I am in Rome and will do as the Romans. I will forget my own rules."

The orchestra arrived in Beijing at 9:00 pm to the sounds of the Central Philharmonic Chorus singing "America the Beautiful." After the welcoming ceremony, the orchestra was bused to their hotel, and orchestra officials sat down with the Chinese representatives to continue negotiating the schedule until 2:15 am. A fourth concert was added to the Beijing schedule (bringing the total from five to six), and the option of restoring the third concert in Shanghai was left open. (In the end, it remained off the schedule.) There would be a special "leadership program" in Beijing that Jiang Qing would attend. Ormandy was asked to conduct the Chinese orchestra in a rehearsal, and he agreed.

Fig. 1: Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 September 1973 "Orchestra's Jet Heads for China" by Edgar Williams

The farewell ceremony was attended by Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, Tsien Ta-Yung of the Liaison Office of the People's Republic of China, and hundreds of family members, friends, and supporters of the orchestra.

Fig. 2: Map of Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

The orchestra traveled to China via Honolulu and Tokyo. Eugene Ormandy and his wife flew to Honolulu on 6 September-four days ahead of the orchestra-to allow for a more gradual adjustment to the twelve-hour difference in time zone.

For the return trip, the orchestra flew from Tokyo to Fairbanks, Alaska. The small customs staff was unprepared to process the baggage of 130 passengers, resulting in an unexpected overnight stay for the orchestra in Alaska.

Fig. 3: The Philadelphia Orchestra Arrives in Beijing

Ormandy (center) is greeted by the conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, Li Delun. Ormandy is followed in the line by his wife, Gretel Ormandy.

Trip to China

The Flight

The Pan American Airways charter "Clipper Philadelphia Orchestra" flew from Philadelphia's new Overseas Terminal to Honolulu with a brief stop in San Francisco. While in Honolulu, the orchestra gathered for a social event with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, who were en route to Australia and New Zealand. In Honolulu, principal trumpet Gilbert Johnson realized that he had forgotten his passport, and once the orchestra had reached Tokyo, the departure to China was delayed while Johnson filled out paperwork for a replacement.

Nicholas Platt, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing, waited to greet the orchestra in Shanghai. With him was Situ Huacheng, concertmaster of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, who would be hosting the Philadelphia Orchestra in Beijing. While waiting for the orchestra to arrive from Tokyo, Situ explained to Platt that the orchestra's programs-which had been negotiated extensively over the months leading up to the tour-would need to be revised further. The number of concerts was to be reduced from seven to five (three in Beijing and two in Shanghai), and the Beethoven Symphony no. 6 was to be added to the repertory.

On the flight from Shanghai to Beijing, Platt related these changes to Ormandy. According to Platt, Ormandy replied, "If that's what they want, that's what they shall have. I am in Rome and will do as the Romans. I will forget my own rules."

The orchestra arrived in Beijing at 9:00 pm to the sounds of the Central Philharmonic Chorus singing "America the Beautiful." After the welcoming ceremony, the orchestra was bused to their hotel, and orchestra officials sat down with the Chinese representatives to continue negotiating the schedule until 2:15 am. A fourth concert was added to the Beijing schedule (bringing the total from five to six), and the option of restoring the third concert in Shanghai was left open. (In the end, it remained off the schedule.) There would be a special "leadership program" in Beijing that Jiang Qing would attend. Ormandy was asked to conduct the Chinese orchestra in a rehearsal, and he agreed.

Fig. 1: Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 September 1973 "Orchestra's Jet Heads for China" by Edgar Williams

The farewell ceremony was attended by Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, Tsien Ta-Yung of the Liaison Office of the People's Republic of China, and hundreds of family members, friends, and supporters of the orchestra.

Fig. 2: Map of Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

The orchestra traveled to China via Honolulu and Tokyo. Eugene Ormandy and his wife flew to Honolulu on 6 September-four days ahead of the orchestra-to allow for a more gradual adjustment to the twelve-hour difference in time zone.

For the return trip, the orchestra flew from Tokyo to Fairbanks, Alaska. The small customs staff was unprepared to process the baggage of 130 passengers, resulting in an unexpected overnight stay for the orchestra in Alaska.

Fig. 3: The Philadelphia Orchestra Arrives in Beijing

Ormandy (center) is greeted by the conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, Li Delun. Ormandy is followed in the line by his wife, Gretel Ormandy.

Trip to China

The Flight

The Pan American Airways charter "Clipper Philadelphia Orchestra" flew from Philadelphia's new Overseas Terminal to Honolulu with a brief stop in San Francisco. While in Honolulu, the orchestra gathered for a social event with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, who were en route to Australia and New Zealand. In Honolulu, principal trumpet Gilbert Johnson realized that he had forgotten his passport, and once the orchestra had reached Tokyo, the departure to China was delayed while Johnson filled out paperwork for a replacement.

Nicholas Platt, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing, waited to greet the orchestra in Shanghai. With him was Situ Huacheng, concertmaster of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, who would be hosting the Philadelphia Orchestra in Beijing. While waiting for the orchestra to arrive from Tokyo, Situ explained to Platt that the orchestra's programs-which had been negotiated extensively over the months leading up to the tour-would need to be revised further. The number of concerts was to be reduced from seven to five (three in Beijing and two in Shanghai), and the Beethoven Symphony no. 6 was to be added to the repertory.

On the flight from Shanghai to Beijing, Platt related these changes to Ormandy. According to Platt, Ormandy replied, "If that's what they want, that's what they shall have. I am in Rome and will do as the Romans. I will forget my own rules."

The orchestra arrived in Beijing at 9:00 pm to the sounds of the Central Philharmonic Chorus singing "America the Beautiful." After the welcoming ceremony, the orchestra was bused to their hotel, and orchestra officials sat down with the Chinese representatives to continue negotiating the schedule until 2:15 am. A fourth concert was added to the Beijing schedule (bringing the total from five to six), and the option of restoring the third concert in Shanghai was left open. (In the end, it remained off the schedule.) There would be a special "leadership program" in Beijing that Jiang Qing would attend. Ormandy was asked to conduct the Chinese orchestra in a rehearsal, and he agreed.

Fig. 1: Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 September 1973 "Orchestra's Jet Heads for China" by Edgar Williams

The farewell ceremony was attended by Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, Tsien Ta-Yung of the Liaison Office of the People's Republic of China, and hundreds of family members, friends, and supporters of the orchestra.

Fig. 2: Map of Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

The orchestra traveled to China via Honolulu and Tokyo. Eugene Ormandy and his wife flew to Honolulu on 6 September-four days ahead of the orchestra-to allow for a more gradual adjustment to the twelve-hour difference in time zone.

For the return trip, the orchestra flew from Tokyo to Fairbanks, Alaska. The small customs staff was unprepared to process the baggage of 130 passengers, resulting in an unexpected overnight stay for the orchestra in Alaska.

Fig. 3: The Philadelphia Orchestra Arrives in Beijing

Ormandy (center) is greeted by the conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, Li Delun. Ormandy is followed in the line by his wife, Gretel Ormandy.

Invitation

The Invitation

On Thursday, 22 February 1973, Eugene Ormandy was sick in bed with the flu when the telephone rang. "Mr. Ormandy, the President wishes to talk to you." Ormandy replied, "Which president?" Richard Nixon was calling to tell Ormandy that Zhou Enlai, premier of the People's Republic of China, had invited the Philadelphia Orchestra to visit several cities in China, and Zhou wanted the tour to occur sometime in 1973. Later that day, Ormandy recounted the conversation with Nixon to the Philadelphia Inquirer: "I told him how honored I feel that this orchestra has been chosen to represent the United States, the first foreign orchestra invited to China." (The London Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic would precede the Philadelphia Orchestra to China, but Ormandy did not know this at the time.)

Fig. 1: New York Times headline 23 February 1973 "U.S. and China Will Soon Set Up Offices in Capitals for Liaison" by R.W. Apple Jr.

Fig. 2: Timeline for the 1973 China Tour, the tour covered eleven days, with six full days in Beijing and almost four in Shanghai

Invitation

The Invitation

On Thursday, 22 February 1973, Eugene Ormandy was sick in bed with the flu when the telephone rang. "Mr. Ormandy, the President wishes to talk to you." Ormandy replied, "Which president?" Richard Nixon was calling to tell Ormandy that Zhou Enlai, premier of the People's Republic of China, had invited the Philadelphia Orchestra to visit several cities in China, and Zhou wanted the tour to occur sometime in 1973. Later that day, Ormandy recounted the conversation with Nixon to the Philadelphia Inquirer: "I told him how honored I feel that this orchestra has been chosen to represent the United States, the first foreign orchestra invited to China." (The London Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic would precede the Philadelphia Orchestra to China, but Ormandy did not know this at the time.)

Fig. 1: New York Times headline 23 February 1973 "U.S. and China Will Soon Set Up Offices in Capitals for Liaison" by R.W. Apple Jr.

Fig. 2: Timeline for the 1973 China Tour, the tour covered eleven days, with six full days in Beijing and almost four in Shanghai

Central Philharmonic Society

The Visit to the Central Philharmonic Society

On the day after their first concert, the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra were bused to the Central Philharmonic Society in Beijing. The host for their visit was Li Delun, the conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra.

The open rehearsal of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra began with Li Delun conducting a performance of Moon Reflected in Two Fountains, a contemporary Chinese work based on music by the blind folk musician Ah Bing. Li, however, was most interested in the Philadelphians hearing his orchestra perform Beethoven's Symphony no. 5. Ever since the previous March, when the London Philharmonic visited China, Li had been upset over a remark in the British press suggesting that the Central Philharmonic could play Chinese music well enough but had no idea how to perform Western music.

According to New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg, Li conducted the first movement of the symphony with immense vigor, but also with a triplet in the opening three notes, losing the two-four meter. "At the end of the first movement, Li handed the baton over to Ormandy, who conducted the second movement. Louis Hood, director of public relations for the orchestra, wrote that Ormandy obviously enjoyed the experience immensely as he smiled, cajoled, or forcefully urged the Chinese musicians. Lacking a common language with his orchestra at the moment, Mr. Ormandy sang phrases, mouthed bravos at certain points and brought out the best in the music and the musicians." In the New York Times, Schonberg wrote, By giving the players plenty of air space to punctuate phrasing, Ormandy had them playing almost like a major ensemble."

Sound Recordings

The Yellow River Concerto and Other Showpieces Played on the Historic China Tour

The Yellow River Concerto - LISTEN

composed by the Central Philharmonic Society of the People's Republic of China
Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Daniel Epstein, piano. 20:05.
 

San Pei (Chinese Workers' and Peasants' March) - LISTEN

arranged by William Smith and Jesse Taynton 
Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. 1:24.

The Stars and Stripes Forever by Sousa - LISTEN

Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. 3:36

The Pines of Rome by Respighi - LISTEN

Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. 20:20.

Sound Recordings

The Yellow River Concerto and Other Showpieces Played on the Historic China Tour

The Yellow River Concerto - LISTEN

composed by the Central Philharmonic Society of the People's Republic of China
Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Daniel Epstein, piano. 20:05.
 

San Pei (Chinese Workers' and Peasants' March) - LISTEN

arranged by William Smith and Jesse Taynton 
Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. 1:24.

The Stars and Stripes Forever by Sousa - LISTEN

Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. 3:36

The Pines of Rome by Respighi - LISTEN

Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. 20:20.

Third Concert in Beijing

Following the Concert

This was the best received of the Beijing concerts. The audience was enthusiastic in its appreciation, but despite a general feeling of good cheer, not everyone was happy. Jiang Qing remained in a bad humor over the intermission conversation with Ormandy and the objectionable martial character of the ending to The Pines of Rome. She initially refused to go back stage to meet the members of the orchestra, but after a long talk with one of her associates, she changed her mind.

At that point, the orchestra members were already on a bus returning to the hotel. Military vehicles chased the bus and, just as it reached the hotel, cut it off in the middle of the road. Without explanation to the musicians, the bus turned around and returned to the concert hall. Once the orchestra members had assembled backstage, Jiang Qing shook each member's hand and gave them some sweet-scented cassia flowers from her garden to be used as a flavoring in tea or in baking. She presented to Ormandy a four-volume set of 19th-century Chinese music scores from her personal collection. Harold C. Schonberg made much of the gift in his report in the New York Times, but the Chinese observing the presentation were less impressed by the scores than they were amused by how Ormandy examined them upside down until Jiang corrected him.

Following the reception, the orchestra and the Chinese dignitaries proceeded to the stage for a group photograph.

Fig. 1: Standing behind the flowers are Eugene Ormandy, Jiang Qing, and Gretel Ormandy (left to right).

Fig. 2: To the left of Jiang is WCAU-TV reporter Kati Marton (holding microphone). United States officials noted that Jiang Qing's choice of Western-style apparel for the concert was almost unprecedented. Standing behind Jiang is Yao Wenyuan, a member of the Politburo. Both Jiang and Yao were part of the Gang of Four.

Third Concert in Beijing

Following the Concert

This was the best received of the Beijing concerts. The audience was enthusiastic in its appreciation, but despite a general feeling of good cheer, not everyone was happy. Jiang Qing remained in a bad humor over the intermission conversation with Ormandy and the objectionable martial character of the ending to The Pines of Rome. She initially refused to go back stage to meet the members of the orchestra, but after a long talk with one of her associates, she changed her mind.

At that point, the orchestra members were already on a bus returning to the hotel. Military vehicles chased the bus and, just as it reached the hotel, cut it off in the middle of the road. Without explanation to the musicians, the bus turned around and returned to the concert hall. Once the orchestra members had assembled backstage, Jiang Qing shook each member's hand and gave them some sweet-scented cassia flowers from her garden to be used as a flavoring in tea or in baking. She presented to Ormandy a four-volume set of 19th-century Chinese music scores from her personal collection. Harold C. Schonberg made much of the gift in his report in the New York Times, but the Chinese observing the presentation were less impressed by the scores than they were amused by how Ormandy examined them upside down until Jiang corrected him.

Following the reception, the orchestra and the Chinese dignitaries proceeded to the stage for a group photograph.

Fig. 1: Standing behind the flowers are Eugene Ormandy, Jiang Qing, and Gretel Ormandy (left to right).

Fig. 2: To the left of Jiang is WCAU-TV reporter Kati Marton (holding microphone). United States officials noted that Jiang Qing's choice of Western-style apparel for the concert was almost unprecedented. Standing behind Jiang is Yao Wenyuan, a member of the Politburo. Both Jiang and Yao were part of the Gang of Four.

Central Philharmonic Society

Gift exchange

Following the open rehearsal by the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, the two groups exchanged gifts. Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra presented their Chinese counterparts with a trumpet, a clarinet, a flute, drum heads, and triangles. They also gave them hundreds of recordings and a large stack of scores of works by contemporary American composers donated by the Theodore Presser Company. Smaller individual gifts included mouthpieces, reeds, and extra strings.

The Chinese, in turn, gave the Philadelphians a collection of traditional Chinese instruments, including two pipas (a lute), a sheng (a reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes), a chest of twelve bamboo flutes, three suonas (a double-reed instrument), and three erhus (a two-stringed instrument), a large drum, and a three-foot brass gong. A score and recording of the Yellow River Concerto completed the gift.

After the gift exchange, the players talked shop, examined instruments, and compared techniques.

Fig. 1: Li Delun (center) examines one of the scores presented by assistant conductor William Smith (left). Between Smith and Li, in the background, is WCAUTV reporter Kati Marton (holding a microphone) and between Marton and Li is New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg. Eugene Ormandy is standing to the right with his back to the camera.

Fig. 2: Principal trumpet Gilbert Johnson presents a trumpet to the principal trumpet of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy is standing to the right of Johnson.

Fig. 3: Percussionists Michael Bookspan (left center) and Anthony Orlando (right center) accept a gong presented by the Chinese. To the left (with notebook) is New York Times music critic Harold C. Schoenberg, and to the far right, with his back to the camera, is Eugene Ormandy.

Central Philharmonic Society

Gift exchange

Following the open rehearsal by the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, the two groups exchanged gifts. Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra presented their Chinese counterparts with a trumpet, a clarinet, a flute, drum heads, and triangles. They also gave them hundreds of recordings and a large stack of scores of works by contemporary American composers donated by the Theodore Presser Company. Smaller individual gifts included mouthpieces, reeds, and extra strings.

The Chinese, in turn, gave the Philadelphians a collection of traditional Chinese instruments, including two pipas (a lute), a sheng (a reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes), a chest of twelve bamboo flutes, three suonas (a double-reed instrument), and three erhus (a two-stringed instrument), a large drum, and a three-foot brass gong. A score and recording of the Yellow River Concerto completed the gift.

After the gift exchange, the players talked shop, examined instruments, and compared techniques.

Fig. 1: Li Delun (center) examines one of the scores presented by assistant conductor William Smith (left). Between Smith and Li, in the background, is WCAUTV reporter Kati Marton (holding a microphone) and between Marton and Li is New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg. Eugene Ormandy is standing to the right with his back to the camera.

Fig. 2: Principal trumpet Gilbert Johnson presents a trumpet to the principal trumpet of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy is standing to the right of Johnson.

Fig. 3: Percussionists Michael Bookspan (left center) and Anthony Orlando (right center) accept a gong presented by the Chinese. To the left (with notebook) is New York Times music critic Harold C. Schoenberg, and to the far right, with his back to the camera, is Eugene Ormandy.

Central Philharmonic Society

Gift exchange

Following the open rehearsal by the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, the two groups exchanged gifts. Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra presented their Chinese counterparts with a trumpet, a clarinet, a flute, drum heads, and triangles. They also gave them hundreds of recordings and a large stack of scores of works by contemporary American composers donated by the Theodore Presser Company. Smaller individual gifts included mouthpieces, reeds, and extra strings.

The Chinese, in turn, gave the Philadelphians a collection of traditional Chinese instruments, including two pipas (a lute), a sheng (a reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes), a chest of twelve bamboo flutes, three suonas (a double-reed instrument), and three erhus (a two-stringed instrument), a large drum, and a three-foot brass gong. A score and recording of the Yellow River Concerto completed the gift.

After the gift exchange, the players talked shop, examined instruments, and compared techniques.

Fig. 1: Li Delun (center) examines one of the scores presented by assistant conductor William Smith (left). Between Smith and Li, in the background, is WCAUTV reporter Kati Marton (holding a microphone) and between Marton and Li is New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg. Eugene Ormandy is standing to the right with his back to the camera.

Fig. 2: Principal trumpet Gilbert Johnson presents a trumpet to the principal trumpet of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy is standing to the right of Johnson.

Fig. 3: Percussionists Michael Bookspan (left center) and Anthony Orlando (right center) accept a gong presented by the Chinese. To the left (with notebook) is New York Times music critic Harold C. Schoenberg, and to the far right, with his back to the camera, is Eugene Ormandy.

Trip to China

Li Delun

Li Delun, the fifty-six-year-old conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, was often at Ormandy's side during the visit to Beijing. Li was trained as a cellist and began conducting in his twenties. He was sent to the Moscow Conservatory for a four-year course in conducting that he described as "no use." In March 1973, during the visit to China by the London Philharmonic, a British journalist remarked that Li and the Central Philharmonic could play Chinese music well enough but had no idea of how to play Western music. Li was eager to have Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra hear his orchestra perform Beethoven, and a visit was scheduled for Saturday, 15 September.

Fig. 1: Eugene Ormandy and Li Delun

Invitation

Ormandy and Nixon

When news of Richard Nixon's phone call was reported in the press the next day, Henry Kissinger was quoted as saying that the Philadelphia Orchestra had been specifically requested by Premier Zhou Enlai. This statement would have deflected speculation that the selection of the orchestra was influenced by Nixon's personal or political preferences. It was no secret that Eugene Ormandy was a favorite of Nixon's. When asked about their relationship, Ormandy replied that it would be presumptuous for him to claim that he was close to the president, but "he seems to like me." One month before Nixon extended the invitation, Ormandy had conducted the orchestra in a concert celebrating the inauguration of Nixon's second term in office. Nixon had broken precedent by inviting the Philadelphia Orchestra to perform rather than the Washington D.C.-based National Symphony. It was a concert that manager Boris Sokoloff described as "a political nightmare."

Fig. 1: Backstage during Eugene Ormandy's 70th Birthday Concert
Left to right: Dene Louchheim, Stuart F. Louchheim, Richard Nixon, Pat Nixon, Eugene Ormandy, Gretel Ormandy

Repertory for the Tour

Repertory performed during the Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

Fig. 1: The orchestra performed three programs in China: the tour started and ended with a program featuring three symphonies from three centuries (Mozart, Brahms, and Roy Harris). A program featuring the Yellow River ConcertoThe Pines of Rome, and a Beethoven symphony was performed three times. (The performance that included the Beethoven Symphony no. 5-Ormandy's preferred Beethoven symphony-also opened with Wagner's Meistersinger Prelude.) The program for the 15 September concert was performed only once.

After the Tour - Sound Recordings

The Campaign against Respighi

Within five months of the orchestra's visit, the tide had turned against cultural diplomacy with the West. During the tour, a member of the Central Philharmonic Society had described The Pines of Rome as brilliant in variations of color and tone," but this was now considered empty talk about changes in contrast and emotion" in an attempt to gloss over the class content of musical works so as to pull the wool over the eyes of the masses."

It is hard to know exactly who was behind this new attack on Western music. In a 1997 memoir, diplomat John H. Holdridge suggests that Zhou Enlai launched the attack to embarrass Jiang Qing, who had earlier launched her own attacks against him in an anti-Confucius campaign. Her enjoyment of the Beethoven Sixth was well known in China's inner-party circles and was seen as a potential point of weakness.

On the other hand, it was Zhou Enlai who had invited the orchestra to perform Western music in China in the first place. Could Jiang Qing have issued the statement, acting on her displeasure with The Pines of Rome? The identity of the person behind the attack is not clear, but this announcement marked the beginning of a renewed campaign against Western art that would continue for several years.

Performances by the Chinese

The White Haired Girl

While in Shanghai, the orchestra attended a performance of the ballet The White-Haired Girl, one of the eight model plays" that Jiang Qing developed and promoted during the Cultural Revolution. The ballet, which premiered in 1965, was adapted from a 1945 opera of the same name. It tells the story of a young girl named Xi'er who becomes the concubine of a landlord who has murdered her father because of a debt owed him. Xi'er is separated from her love, Wang Dachun, and works day and night at the landlord's home. She makes a successful escape with the help of the housemaid and hides in the forest. In the meantime, Wang has joined the Liberation Army, and he finds Xi'er several years later. Her hair has turned white because of the deprived life she has been living. Reunited with her love, Xi'er returns to the village to marry Wang and join the army, while the treacherous landlord is punished for the murder of her father.

Performances by the Chinese

The White Haired Girl

While in Shanghai, the orchestra attended a performance of the ballet The White-Haired Girl, one of the eight model plays" that Jiang Qing developed and promoted during the Cultural Revolution. The ballet, which premiered in 1965, was adapted from a 1945 opera of the same name. It tells the story of a young girl named Xi'er who becomes the concubine of a landlord who has murdered her father because of a debt owed him. Xi'er is separated from her love, Wang Dachun, and works day and night at the landlord's home. She makes a successful escape with the help of the housemaid and hides in the forest. In the meantime, Wang has joined the Liberation Army, and he finds Xi'er several years later. Her hair has turned white because of the deprived life she has been living. Reunited with her love, Xi'er returns to the village to marry Wang and join the army, while the treacherous landlord is punished for the murder of her father.

After the Tour - Sound Recordings

Jiang Qing's Later Years

Soon after the orchestra's visit, Zhou Enlai's health failed. He was hospitalized in 1974 and died in early 1976. When Mao Zedong died a few months later in September 1976, Jiang Qing and the other members of the Gang of Four were no longer under his protection and found themselves at odds with Zhou Enlai's successor, Hua Guofeng. Hua and others in power blamed the Gang of Four for the preceding decade of civil and social unrest. Public opposition to them mounted, and by the end of 1976 they had been expelled from the Communist Party and arrested.

At her trial in 1980-81, Jiang was accused of spreading civil unrest during the Cultural Revolution, but she was unfailingly defiant and denounced the country's new leaders. She received a suspended death sentence, which in 1983 was commuted to life imprisonment. She died in her cell in 1991, an apparent suicide.
 

Trip to China

Participants in the Tour

Fig. 1: Alphabetical list of participants, Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

The Chinese stipulated that the orchestra's entourage could number no more than 130. The musicians accounted for 106, and the rest of the roster was filled out by orchestra officers, stage hands, medical personnel, and five members of the press.

On this list, "Harper, B., Miss" is crossed out and "Reeder, D., Miss" is added in pencil at the bottom. Both were cellists, and presumably Reeder was added as a substitute for Harper. Ormandy's wife, Gretel, is listed as "Ormandy, M., Mrs.," with the initial referring to her formal first name, Margaret.

Fig. 2: Categorized list of participants, Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

This list, based on the alphabetical list of participants, organizes the names according to the role played in the tour. At the end are members of the entourage who were not members of the orchestra, including orchestra staff, orchestra officers, medical personnel, members of the U.S. Department of State, and journalists. Two participants who could not be identified ("M Montanaro" and "G Janson") were presumably spouses (or other relations) who were accompanying members of the orchestra. From newspapers accounts, we know that the medical staff included a nurse-possibly "R Holmes," which is the only name that cannot otherwise be accounted for. Hornist Richard Dolph was a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music living in Memphis, Tennessee. He had previously joined the orchestra for their 1972 tour of Japan.

Trip to China

Participants in the Tour

Fig. 1: Alphabetical list of participants, Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

The Chinese stipulated that the orchestra's entourage could number no more than 130. The musicians accounted for 106, and the rest of the roster was filled out by orchestra officers, stage hands, medical personnel, and five members of the press.

On this list, "Harper, B., Miss" is crossed out and "Reeder, D., Miss" is added in pencil at the bottom. Both were cellists, and presumably Reeder was added as a substitute for Harper. Ormandy's wife, Gretel, is listed as "Ormandy, M., Mrs.," with the initial referring to her formal first name, Margaret.

Fig. 2: Categorized list of participants, Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

This list, based on the alphabetical list of participants, organizes the names according to the role played in the tour. At the end are members of the entourage who were not members of the orchestra, including orchestra staff, orchestra officers, medical personnel, members of the U.S. Department of State, and journalists. Two participants who could not be identified ("M Montanaro" and "G Janson") were presumably spouses (or other relations) who were accompanying members of the orchestra. From newspapers accounts, we know that the medical staff included a nurse-possibly "R Holmes," which is the only name that cannot otherwise be accounted for. Hornist Richard Dolph was a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music living in Memphis, Tennessee. He had previously joined the orchestra for their 1972 tour of Japan.

Repertory for the Tour

Program for the Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

Fig. 1: The changes to the concert schedule that had been negotiated upon the orchestra's arrival in China were all reflected in the program, which was printed in time for the first concert two days later.

Fig. 2: This copy belonged to C. Wanton Balis Jr., president of the orchestra board. (Note the name written on the cover.) The two pages to the right show the programs for the Beijing concerts of 14 September (repeated on 21 September in Shanghai) and 15 September.

Repertory for the Tour

Program for the Philadelphia Orchestra 1973 tour of China

Fig. 1: The changes to the concert schedule that had been negotiated upon the orchestra's arrival in China were all reflected in the program, which was printed in time for the first concert two days later.

Fig. 2: This copy belonged to C. Wanton Balis Jr., president of the orchestra board. (Note the name written on the cover.) The two pages to the right show the programs for the Beijing concerts of 14 September (repeated on 21 September in Shanghai) and 15 September.

Invitation

The Cultural Revolution

In the last decade of his life, chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) launched the Cultural Revolution, which was intended to purge the government of his enemies, divert China from the bureaucratic style of communism promoted in the Soviet Union, and renew the spirit of the Chinese Revolution (1911-12). To enact the new policies, he put together a coalition of associates, including his wife,Jiang Qing (1914-1991), who oversaw cultural matters, and Premier Zhou Enlai (1898-1976).

Fig. 1: Zhou Enlai, Richard Nixon, and Jiang Qing

Repertory for the Tour

Eugene Ormandy with pianist Yin Chengzong

Ormandy and the Chinese pianist had one rehearsal together, on the morning of 14 September, two days before their first performance of the Yellow River Concerto. According to U.S. diplomat Nicolas Platt, Ormandy thought that Yin had talent, but the pianist "was used to having his way," and Ormandy found him difficult to control. "I have never seen such a talented pianist play so badly," Ormandy told Platt, referring to Yin's irregular counting. Platt added, "Mr. Yin played without reference to Ormandy, who kept peering hopefully over his shoulder-in vain, because Yin only looked at him after he'd stopped playing."

After the Tour - Sound Recordings

The 2012 Tour

The 1973 tour was the first of many for the Philadelphia Orchestra. They returned in 1993, 2008, 2010, and most recently in 2012. (Coincidentally, Beethoven's Symphony no. 6 was performed on the 2012 tour.) Here associate principal percussionist Anthony Orlando (left) watches principal percussion Christopher Deviney (right) examine a Chinese ceremony bell replica backstage at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Orlando was one of eight orchestra members on the 2012 tour who had also participated in the 1973 tour thirty-nine years earlier. (He is seen in a photo earlier in the exhibit accepting a gong presented by the Chinese.)

Invitation

Zhou Enlai

For the first few years, there was conflict among these associates. Following the death of Defense Minister Lin Biao in 1971, Zhou Enlai worked to restore stability. It was Zhou who was behind the push to develop a closer relationship with the West, and classical music was central to this initiative. The first public performance of foreign music by foreign musicians occurred early in 1973 when Swiss cellist Henri Honegger performed programs in Beijing and Shanghai. Two western orchestras preceded the Philadelphia Orchestra to China: in March 1973, the London Philharmonic ( John Pritchard, conductor) performed five concerts, and the Vienna Philharmonic (Claudio Abbado, conductor) performed four concerts, the last of which included the Yellow River Concerto, with Yin Chengzong as soloist.

Invitation

Jiang Qing

Jiang Qing, a former actress who performed under the stage name Lan Ping, met Mao while she was teaching drama at the Lu Xun Art Academy, and they were married in 1939. For several decades, Jiang stayed out of the public eye and was not involved in politics. In 1963, she began exerting her political influence and was appointed deputy head of the Cultural Revolution, and in this role she had far-ranging influence over the performing arts. (Also during this time she forged an alliance with three other radical Politboro members to form the Gang of Four.) Through her "eight model plays," she infused Chinese opera and ballet with proletarian themes, and she was generally opposed to the performance of Western music in China. Her conservative ideas about the role of the arts in Chinese society were at odds with Zhou's attempt to use classical music as a diplomatic tool.

During the tour by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Zhou and other leaders were occupied with a concurrent visit by French President Georges Pompidou, so Jiang and a few other officials represented the Chinese government at one of the concerts in Beijing.

Selected bibliography

Contributors

The Invitation
Ormandy and Nixon
The Cultural Revolut
Zhou Enlai
Jiang Qing
The Flight
Li Delun
Participants in the
intro
Repertory performed
Program for the Phil
Eugene Ormandy with
The Visit to the Cen
Gift exchange
intro
Following the Concer
intro
intro
The White Haired Gir
intro
The Campaign against
Jiang Qing's Later Y
The 2012 Tour
The Yellow River Con