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For the third stop on their Asia Tour 2019, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Riccardo Muti traveled to Beijing for two concerts at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Designed by French architect Paul Andreu and opened in 2007, the titanium-and-glass performing center quickly became known as the Giant Egg, thanks to its spherical shape.

Before the first concert, featuring Brahms’ Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2, some musicians squeezed in a visit to Beijing’s famous Forbidden City. Once the home of China’s emperors from 1420 to 1912, with nearly a thousand buildings over 180 acres, the complex is now an international landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After an additional concert in Beijing, the orchestra flies to Japan for a series of programs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4.

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