In 2011 the KT Wong Foundation supported a series of performances in Beijing and Shanghai by the world-renowned Academy of Ancient Music. The orchestra performed the Brandenburg Concertos at Shanghai’s Music Hall and featured acclaimed soprano Sumi Jo at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. The warm response reinforced the Foundation’s goal to encourage cross-cultural conversations using the very best Chinese and Western talent.
Jo’s performance was truly unique as, together, she and the Academy performed classical songs by Handel, Vivaldi and Purcell, rather than opera.
The Beijing event was the first time Jo had ever ‘touched’ baroque music. Lady Davies, chairwoman of both the KT Wong Foundation and the board of trustees of the Handel Society, said:
‘Our Foundation is honored to be able to support this top baroque musical event in Beijing as it strives to build bridges between China and the rest of the world. I truly hope that Chinese music lovers will appreciate and enjoy baroque music and further their understanding of Western music. Through communication and exchange, we firmly believe more Chinese musicians will make an impact on the world stage’.
‘We have realised that compared with Europe, audiences of ancient music in Asia, and particularly in China, are much younger and more energetic,’ said Richard Egarr, director of harpsichord at the Academy of Ancient Music.
‘With the ongoing support of the KT Wong Foundation, we plan to conduct master classes at the Central Conservatory of Music to promote baroque as well as classical music. We also look forward to the opportunities of collaborating with Chinese musicians’.