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News May 28: Send-off concert

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UD Symphony Orchestra to embark on 12-day performance tour of China

​James Allen Anderson conducts the University of Delaware Symphony Orchestra, which is planning a concert tour of China this spring.

Building on past seasons’ dynamic programming and impressive placements in the prestigious American Prize, the University of Delaware Symphony Orchestra (UDSO) is planning a spring concert tour of China, including a featured performance in the premiere Shanghai Oriental Art Center — known as the “Lincoln Center of China.”

James Allen Anderson, associate professor and director of orchestral studies, is known for engaging, creative programming — so much so that under his leadership the UDSO and UD Chamber Orchestra won The American Prize in Orchestral Programming Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award (college/university division) for the 2015-16 season. Other recent seasons have featured performances of masterpieces such as Shostakovich's Symphony No. 6 and Ralph Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem, as well as works from contemporary composers such as Jennifer Higdon, Robert Moran and Joseph Vella.

This month, Anderson leads the 80-member UDSO on a 12-day tour of China, with an impressive concert program that includes a world premier piece by composer Mark Hagerty, Beyond these Horizons, featuring international guest artists 6-Wire Ensemble and percussionist Chen Zimbalista. The program also includes Robert Moran’s Points of Departure; Leonard Bernstein’s On the Waterfront: Symphonic Suite; and Mao Yuan and Liu Tieshan’s Yao People’s Dance. The concerts are part of a collaboration with musicians from East China Normal University and Xi-An Conservatory, giving UD students an immersive cultural and musical experience.

6-wire founding member and Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music Xiang Gao, a native of China, has produced a tour that will be a significant musical event and signal cultural experience for the students. Having led numerous UD trips to China in previous years, Gao, along with local concert tour company Beijing Sunshine Zero Sports and Culture Ltd., were uniquely suited to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for UD students, as well as to introduce Chinese audiences to the Department of Music’s programs and talented student musicians. Along with this, it will help UD reach out to many UD alumni, friends, parents, partners and collaborating institutions in China and to make new connections for the future.

Local audiences can preview the tour performances at a send-off concert at 7 p.m., Monday, May 28, in Thompson Theatre at the Roselle Center for the Arts on the Newark campus.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for UD faculty/staff/alumni and seniors; and $5 for students. Advanced ticket sales are available through the REP box office at 302-831-2204. At-the-door tickets, if available, are cash or check only.

Friends and family of the UDSO can help support the China tour through UD’s Crowdfunding at


Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music Xiang Gao and Cathy Yang formed the crossover duo 6-wire in 2010 combining the ehru, the two-stringed Chinese violin, and the four-stringed Western violin, both essential leading instruments. 6-wire has toured the United States and Asia, writing and playing world music, crossover chamber music and jazz, collaborating with an array of musicians, and performing with a variety of instrumentations, including zither, guitar, bass saxophone, piano and percussion. Newark audiences have frequently seen 6-wire perform as ensemble-in-residence for the Master Players Concert Series.

Chen Zimbalista

Israeli percussionist Chen Zimbalista has dazzled audiences around the world with an enchanting array of rhythmic sounds that he cajoles from more than 40 instruments, played with his lightning quick hands, some of them at the same time. His music — a euphonious blend of pulses and beats — defies classification. A true feast for the senses, his programs are taken from the classical, jazz and ethnic repertoire.

Mark Hagerty

Mark Hagerty is an award-winning, highly individualistic American composer who pursued classical training as an instrumentalist, singer and composer, and then determined his own path, outside of any tradition or institution.  He has been developing two compositional practices in parallel—one that extends historic, particularly pre-classical forms, and a second that sets all traditions aside in favor of forays into more extreme forms and modes of expression. In all cases, he strives for a deep connection with performers and listeners, and his music has found enthusiastic audiences internationally and across the United States. He is currently working in larger forms and exploring the melding of sound sculpture with more intimate musical expression. Inspirations include science and nature, the poetry of Wallace Stevens, backpacking in Vermont’s Green Mountains, the art music of India and his two favorite cities, Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro.

Article by Megan Everhart; photo by Evan Krape

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The UD Symphony Orchestra will take part in a 12-day concert tour of China, including a featured performance in the premier Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

The UD Symphony Orchestra will take part in a 12-day concert tour of China, including a featured performance in the premier Shanghai Oriental Art Center, known as the "Lincoln Center of China."

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May 28: Send-off concert
  • School of Music
  • Amy E. du Pont Music Building
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2578