From Mao to Mozart: The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 80-year relationship with China

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The Philadelphia Orchestra Group of the United States was welcomed by the Chinese audience as it gave a concert in Peking on Sept. 14, 1973.

The Philadelphia Orchestra Group was welcomed by the Chinese audience as it gave a concert in Peking on Sept. 14, 1973. (AP Photo/Hsinhua News Agency)

Despite the U.S. and China’s complex and often tense relationship, The Philadelphia Orchestra has a longstanding relationship with China dating back to the 1940s. Nearly 80 years later, why does the orchestra still occupy such a special place in Chinese culture? On this episode of The Why, Jennifer Lin, producer of the upcoming documentary “Beethoven in Bejing,” explains the history of this unlikely relationship.

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