CSO patron Mao Mao Shillman joins Li-Kuo Chang, assistant principal viola, and violinist Alison Dalton at the post-concert reception. | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2016

WFMT-FM host Carl Grapentine interviews Li-Kuo Chang, assistant principal viola, from Shanghai, his hometown, where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is performing two concerts as part of its 2016 Asia Tour.

Chang, who joined the CSO in 1988 after enduring the upheaval of China’s Cultural Revolution, told Grapentine that “bringing the orchestra to my hometown means everything to me. I’ve been through so much turmoil in modern China. … I’m the oldest of my Chinese colleagues in the orchestra, and many of the younger players never experienced this period of time. But I did. I survived that.

“From my first day with the CSO, I knew that someday I want this orchestra to be back in China. I want all my countrymen, my friends, my former teachers, to know how great this orchestra is. And I’m proud of it.”

During the interview, Grapentine revealed that Chang will celebrate his birthday this weekend while on tour. So best wishes to Li-Kuo and many happy returns.

To hear the complete interview, click here.

TOP: Li-Kuo Chang (center) joins violinist Alison Dalton and tour guest Mao Mao Shillman at a post-concert reception after the second concert in Tokyo. | Todd Rosenberg Photography 2016