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LSO on Tour: Korea, China & Vietnam, February & March 2017

16 February–5 March 2017


  1. Welcome

  2. This month we're off on tour to the far east, including a historic visit to Vietnam, where we will be the first British orchestra to play in the country. This 18-day tour will take in nine cities in four countries, with ten concerts taking place:

    Sunday 19 February: Private concert in Yongin
    Monday 20 February: Seoul Arts Center

    Wednesday 22 February: National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing
    Thursday 23 February: National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing
    Friday 24 February: Private concert in Beijing
    Saturday 25 February: Shanghai Symphony Hall
    Sunday 26 February: Qintai Concert Hall, Wuhan
    Monday 27 February: Shanghai Symphony Hall

    Wednesday 1 March: Macao Cultural Centre, Macau

    Saturday 4 March: Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

    We're joined by conductors Daniel Harding and Niklas Benjamin Hoffmann (in Hanoi only) and soloists Nikolaj Znaider, Malin Christensson, Lydia Teuscher and Håkan Hardenberger (in Seoul only). Composer Mark-Anthony Turnage will also be coming along to oversee the performance of his new piece Håkan in Seoul.

    The repertoire for the tour will be:
    Sibelius Violin Concerto (with Nikolaj Znaider)
    Rachmaninov Symphony No 2
    Mahler Symphony No 4
    Mozart Overture: The Marriage of Figaro
    Mark-Anthony Turnage Håkan (with Håkan Hardenberger)
    Sibelius Symphony No 7
    Shostakovich Festive Overture
    Britten Sea Interludes

    (we hasten to add that this won't all be played all at once!)
  3. A great review of last night's concert (Mark-Anthony Turnage's Håkan and Rachmaninov Symphony No 2) in The Guardian bodes well for the concerts on tour!

  4. Thank you!

    We are hugely grateful to the organisations that have chosen to sponsor our concerts on this tour: Reignwood, China Taiping, HSBC and Vietnam Airlines. Find out more about their support here:

  5. Day 18: Sunday 5 March 2017

    Hanoi > London

    It's all over, and as Vietnam Airlines brings us safely home it's great to be back in London, where it seems Spring has sprung in our two-week absence. Well, apart from the pouring rain, but it's almost comforting to be deposited back on the tarmac at Heathrow in the driving rain.

    Some are still working...
  6. ... but some have stayed behind to have a bit of a holiday and enjoy Vietnam, and indeed other destinations.
  7. It's great to be reading tweets, Instagrams and Facebook messages from people who were at the concert last night, most of which we couldn't read until this morning as we got straight onto the plane. It's also great to know that the news of this great piece of cultural relations has not gone unnoticed back at home.
  8. The last two weeks has had a lot to take in, and seems to have both gone very fast and lasted forever. It's great to be out and about around the world, meeting people in person who we wouldn't meet back in London, and especially so in somewhere like Hanoi where we had never visited before and where the tickets were free. Thank you to everyone who helped make this tour happen, sponsors, venues, airports, airlines, hotels, coach companies, trains and all the staff working behind the scenes.

    Gareth Davies has put down his thoughts on the last few days in Hanoi:
  9. We hope you have enjoyed this travelogue. Until the next trip, farewell.

  10. Day 17: Saturday 4 March 2017

    Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi
  11. Unbelievably this is the last day of this tour. In a few hours we will play this concert in Hanoi and then we're being driven straight to the airport to catch the flight home (at 1am on Sunday morning!). It has been a long tour and everyone is tired and looking forward to getting home to loved ones and normal life. But first there is still time to see more of this wonderful city!

    It would be fair to say that the LSO has fallen in love with Vietnam. People are saying how much they have enjoyed getting to know this interesting and just a little crazy city. The people here are so friendly, and it seems that the media have been doing a good job, because so many of them seem to know about today's concert! Mind you, there are hundreds of posters up all over the city, several big screens have appeared, a massive stage has been built in the middle of one of their main squares, and last night the main road along the side of Hoan Kiem Lake was closed to traffic. It felt like the city had come out to party in the middle of the road, just enjoying the sight of a traffic free road for once!