As part of the worldwide celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary celebration, the China NCPA Orchestra presented a special concert May 9 that was streamed for free via 36 Chinese media outlets. The online performance, which featured Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 6, attracted a viewership of more than 35.6 million.

    In addition, the NCPA Orchestra has posted a video of the concert on its Facebook platform, where it may be viewed by Beethoven aficionados worldwide. “The NCPA is ready to pay tribute to the great composer, and to send our best wishes to the world through arts,” said an NCPA representative in a statement.

    A frequent visitor at Chicago’s Symphony Center, the NCPA Orchestra is the resident ensemble of the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. For the May 9 concert, the first in its “Sounds of Summer Blooms” online series, it also performed a Chinese work, led by Lü Jia, the orchestra’s principal conductor.

    The NCPA Orchestra has a close relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has served as a host during the CSO’s recent Asia tours. (It also is scheduled to return to Symphony Center on Oct. 25.) With that in mind, the orchestra asked Jeff Alexander, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, to record a special greeting.

    “Music brings us together, and we’re also fortunate to be able to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday this year,” Alexander said in his videotaped remarks. “As we live through these challenging times, we can appreciate music together again. We send our greetings to everyone in China and at the NCPA. We look forward to seeing all of you one day soon.”