Chicago to China: A Giddy Musical Exchange

The New York Times reports on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first visit to China:

Among the top orchestras in the United States, it has the most musicians born in China, according to Li-Kuo Chang, the orchestra’s assistant principal violist and a Shanghai native. What’s more, Mr. Chang became the first musician from mainland China to join a world-class orchestra when he became a member of the Chicago Symphony in 1988.

“From the moment I sat down in my position in the C.S.O. and played my first note, the first note of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth, I thought: ‘My God, I’m here. I want my countrymen to share this,’ ” Mr. Chang said in an interview after a news conference in Beijing on Friday.

Yet more than 20 years would elapse from the moment Mr. Chang played that note to the night he finally performed with the orchestra in his homeland.

February 15, 2009 9:47 PM
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