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AKIPRESS.COM - In June 2017, the Philadelphia Orchestra will touch down at Genghis Khan International Airport in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar for concerts, reports Philly.com.
Mongolian officials have been eying the Philadelphia Orchestra's residencies in China – which include concerts as well as street-level interaction with the public – and want a residency for their own country.
A memorandum of understanding with the government of Mongolia was scheduled to be announced today at the Capitol in Washington. The agreement also enhances diplomatic relations that have existed with Mongolia for more 30 years.
"This is a great opportunity for us," said Bulgaa Altangerel, the Mongolian Ambassador to the United States. "It's a big event for classical music ties with the U.S., but also a big promotion in relation to other fields."
The June 5-9 visit will include one traditional concert but also a range of outreach activities, including a side-by-side concert with local musicians.
Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct. He reportedly has a special interest in Mongolia. Perhaps no country the Philadelphia Orchestra has visited has had one foot so firmly planted in ancient times. Roughly 30 percent of the people are still nomadic herders. Children are traditionally on horseback by the age of 3. But this nation of three million people also has four million cellphones.
Having visited Ulaanbaatar recently, Craig Hamilton, the orchestra's vice president of global initiatives, described the city as charming but also full of cranes for under-construction luxury hotels. None of the city's venues are what Westerners would call a traditional concert hall. "We have yet to determine," he said, "what theater we will actually perform in."