Months of rehearsals, double and triple checking itineraries, making sure every form was in place, and worrying about crossing half the globe with a cello all came to its culmination when artists saw themselves on billboards and stepped out onstage in front of hundreds of eager listeners. The artists had arrived in China, and from the landscape to the food to the reception by the entranced audiences, each person on tour experienced moments they never had before, nor thought they would.
Summer 2018 marked the first year of PARMA China Tours, where we sent performers abroad to grace the stages of often brand-new halls across the 3.7 million square miles of the nation. What started as an opportunity for cross-cultural connection and the merging of Eastern and Western sentimentalities became just that and more. New bonds were formed, artists were moved just as often as audiences, and each person walked away with a sense that they had forged a relationship and developed an appreciation that would last for a lifetime. Now, in Summer 2019, PARMA kicks off the second season of tours, featuring new artists, new locations, and new opportunities for adventure, art, and the breaking down of cultural barriers.
Before we get into this summer’s round of tours, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on where we were this time last year. The summer started with string quartets: specifically, Altius Quartet and Axiom Quartet. Both groups brought their own unique energies to the stages, and were received with equally enthusiastic responses. As Axiom’s Patrick Moore described, audiences were eager to connect with each performer after a show: “They all want photographs and autographs. It’s quite humbling to receive so much attention.” (Read the full story here.) Flutist Lindsey Goodman had a similar experience with the Leviathan Trio. When asked if she was expecting the reception that she got in venues, with massive billboard and floor-to-ceiling images of the performers projected on the back of the stage, her response was simple: “I haven’t ever expected that reception anywhere.” (Read the full story here.)
Now, as we head into this summer of tours, here are the faces you will see across China and how you can follow along.
Giovanni Piacentini: June 13 – 24, 2019
Composer and guitarist Giovanni Piacentini is known for his compelling music that has been described as “moving, expressive and showing strength from a mixed cultural heritage…” Born in Mexico City to an Italian doctor, an opera lover, and a Mexican figurative painter, he was exposed to a wide array of artistic expressions that helped shape his musical vision.
Hornyanszky-Roemer Duo: July 25 – Aug 5, 2019
Hungarian-born Zoltan Hornyanszky began his oboe studies at age 13, and has since made various television and radio recordings, played recitals and solos with orchestras in Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Italy, the Czech Republic, in the United States and participated at international festivals as soloist in Croatia, Spain and China (Macao). Croatian István Römer studied guitar at the Zagreb Academy of Music, launching into a brilliant career as an award-winning performer in solo, duo, and orchestral concerts. Together, the two make up the dynamic Hornyanszky-Roemer Duo.
Fry Street Quartet: August 8 – 19, 2019
The Fry Street Quartet – hailed as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by The New York Times – is a multi-faceted ensemble taking chamber music in new directions. Touring music of the masters as well as exciting original works from visionary composers of our time, the Fry Street Quartet has perfected a “blend of technical precision and scorching spontaneity” (The Strad).
Pangea Chamber Players: Sept 5 – 16, 2019
Formed in 2012, the Pangaea Chamber Players strives to expand the boundaries of traditional chamber music through innovative programming and community involvement. The Pangaea Chamber Players have been featured on performance series throughout the United States and have been invited to perform at several national conferences.
Follow along with the Pangea Chamber Players on Facebook to keep up with the latest from their tour.
Coming later in the fall:
- Stanely & LaQuarta Duo: Oct 10 to 21, 2019
- Double Exposure: Nov 7 to 18, 2019
- Keuris Quartet: Nov 21 to Dec 2, 2019
- Athens Philharmonia Orchestra: Dec. 22, 2019 to Jan. 7, 2020