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March 04, 2016

Philadelphia Orchestra to be first Western orchestra to play in Mongolia

Company strikes up cultural partnership with government of Mongolia

The Arts Music
Yannick Orchestra Handout Art/Philadelphia Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has created an exciting cultural partnership with the government of Mongolia. The company announced Thursday that it would strike up a residence of sorts in Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar, in the summer of 2017.

The residency will include two full orchestra concerts, as well as a series of events throughout the city. The Philadelphia Orchestra will be teaming up with Mongolian musicians and local schools and institutions to create the events. The big announcement was made in a special ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

"Having honed our in-residence model over several years, we now look forward to this next extraordinary cultural exchange, sharing person to person the common language of music in schools, hospitals, and with our fellow Mongolian musicians," Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore said in a statement.

The Philadelphia Orchestra will be the first Western orchestra to perform in the country. It's no coincidence that 2017 also marks the 30th anniversary of official U.S.-Mongolian diplomatic relations, adding some extra weight to this exercise in cross-cultural understanding. This is also hardly the first time The Philadelphia Orchestra has served as a cultural ambassador for the U.S.: In 1973, President Richard Nixon asked The Philadelphia Orchestra to visit China, and the company was also the first orchestra to perform in Vietnam after the Vietnam War.