The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra has brought its tour in China to an end with great acclaim, delivering performances in prestigious venues in Xi’an, Weifang, Beijing, and Shanghai alongside conductor Neeme Järvi. Over a span from November 4th to 19th, the Belgrade Philharmonic covered 7,459 kilometers on its musical journey, staging four concerts that garnered standing ovations from the audience and accolades from critics and Chinese media.
After twenty three years, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra has returned to China for a tour that was marking the international celebration of its centenary, presenting itself in the most prestigious musical centers. The Philharmonic Orchestra inaugurated the new Belt and Road complex in Xi’an, followed by a concert at the Grand Theater in Weifang. The most significant performance took place at the elite National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing, culminating in a finale at the prestigious Shanghai International Arts Festival.
Throughout the tour, the orchestra performed a unique repertoire – featuring Verdi’s overture from The Force of Destiny, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with Giovanni Zanon and Huang Mengla, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, and Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony. Although it was a Zubin Mehta who was initially planned to join the tour, but who nevertheless closely observed and commended the orchestra on its success, the Belgrade Philharmonic was led by the renowned maestro Neeme Järvi. Performing together, they captivated audiences with their repertoire. The Philharmonic Orchestra concluded each concert with encores that bridged Chinese and Serbian cultures, regularly receiving standing ovations, a rare occurrence on these esteemed concert platforms, at least according to Chinese organizers and promoters.
Chinese media highlighted the Serbian orchestra’s successes with titles such as Audience in Beijing Swept Away by Belgrade Philharmonic (China Daily) and Grand Celebration of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra’s Centennial in China (Beijing Daily). Reviews published on the National Center for the Performing Arts website described the performance of the Belgrade Philharmonic as a passionate orchestral fantasy providing an unforgettable experience for the audience and praised the flawless interpretation under Maestro Järvi, showcasing the Philharmonic’s brilliance. Audiences expressed gratitude on social media, and a large group of fans cued up to greet the musicians after each concert.
The most pivotal event was the performance in Beijing, which served as the centerpiece of the International Orchestral Forum, attended by representatives of the world’s most prominent musical organizations, who showered praises upon the orchestra. The Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the People’s Republic of China Ms. Maja Stefanovic, and the director of the Ivo Andric Serbian Cultural Center in Beijing Tanja Soldat, were present at this concert, while all of the Belgrade Philharmonic’s performances on the tour were endorsed by representatives of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.