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Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra announces 2018 Asia tour

Student musicians led by Maestro Victor Yampolsky to perform in three cities
Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Victory Yampolsky
Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Victory Yampolsky

EVANSTON - Northwestern University’s top orchestral talent will travel halfway around the globe during spring break 2018 to perform in three prestigious concert halls and to serve as musical ambassadors for the University.

Northwestern University Symphony on Tour: Asia 2018, from March 25 to 31, will give the student musi­cians a unique opportunity to showcase their talents on the world stage and to support the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music’s goal of recruiting promising young musicians from around the globe.

The three-city tour of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong marks the first international tour for the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra (NUSO). Northwestern University Symphony on Tour: Asia 2018 is made possible by an anonymous benefactor and organized by the Bienen School of Music, Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies and Northwestern Alumni Association. Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and Mimi Schapiro will attend the concerts in Beijing and Shanghai.

“This international tour is a very special opportunity for our talented student musicians, and for strengthening Northwestern’s connection to music communities in Asia,” President Schapiro said. “We are grateful to our benefactor for the generous gift that is making the tour possible.”

The concert repertoire includes Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler and “Symphonic Dances” from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” Northwestern awarded Bernstein with an honorary doctorate in 1957. The tour also coincides with the 100th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth year, giving the University an ideal opportunity to share his quintessentially American music with a global audience.  

The program will be conducted by Maestro Victor Yampolsky, the Carol F. and Arthur L. Rice Jr. University Professor in Music Performance and director of orchestras, who has led NUSO since 1984. Under his baton, NUSO has evolved into one of the nation’s most respected collegiate orchestras, featuring top student musicians from the Bienen School.

Before departing for the tour, NUSO will premiere its concert program for the public at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Evanston campus. Tickets are $8 general admission and $5 for students. Tickets and more information are available on the Bienen School website.

The Northwestern University Symphony on Tour: Asia 2018 concert schedule is as follows:

Sunday, March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Zhongshan Park Forbidden City Concert Hall

Wednesday, March 28, 7:30 p.m.
Shanghai Symphony Hall

Saturday, March 31, 7:30 p.m.
Hong Kong
Tsuen Wan Town Hall Auditorium

Additional information on the tour will be posted to the Northwestern University Symphony on Tour website as it becomes available.

The Bienen School of Music offers a unique combination of conservatory-level musical training and the academic rigor of a top-tier research institution. The school boasts accomplished faculty and students who regularly garner major awards and honors. Bienen School alumni are members of professional orchestras and opera companies all over the country and around the world.