For the second stop of the Asia Tour 2019, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Riccardo Muti headed from Taipei to Shanghai to perform two concerts. At the airport, they encountered a flight delay, but the musicians and Muti passed the time with recreational activities (including a game of Boggle) and good conversation. After landing in Shanghai, the CSO team was greeted with an entrancing sight: a golden harvest-like moon rising over the city’s night skyline.
Ahead of the first concert at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, CSOA President Jeff Alexander and Robert Chen, concertmaster, and Li-Kuo Chang, acting principal viola, fielded questions from local media at a news conference. Before meeting the press, Chang received a surprise birthday celebration from his section colleagues. Others spent the afternoon exploring city landmarks, such as the historic Yu Garden, first established in 1559, and more modern attractions such as the financial district in the central Pudong area.
Then it was on to the main event, a program of Brahms’ First and Second Symphonies, also heard in Taipei, after which the China Times declared: “[This repertoire shows] the power and strength of this American orchestra that also has the exquisite qualities of a European ensemble.”