Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra are donating fees from their concert today in Beijing to help rebuild schools destroyed by the May 12 Sichuan earthquake.
The concert was long planned as a gala TV event for China's CCTV network and Hong Kong's Phoenix channel. But in the wake of the earthquake last month, the orchestra is building a fundraising campaign around the broadcast. Members of the orchestra have given not only their broadcast fees but additional personal contributions, and the orchestra has gathered other private and corporate contributions...they've already put toegher $3 million, and this is *before* the broadcast. Hundreds of millions of Chinese viewers will see the concert on Friday, millions more in Hong Kong on Sunday. According to this story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, negotiations are underway for a PBS broadcast. And...we're trying to get broadcast rights for an American radio audience, as well.
The fund will continue to accept contributions until June 9th, although none of the news sources I've seen so far mention how others might contribute. (I will update this blog entry if I get word...check back if you'd like to make a contribution.)
The Philadelphia Orchestra is in the middle of an Asian tour that has already taken them through Japan and South Korea. Today's concert is the first of five in China.
Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra have been keeping a fascinating blog during their current Asian tour. (Check out news about the baseball game between members of the Philly Orchestra and the Tokyo Symphony.) No doubt, the blog will be updated shortly with news from today's benefit concert.
Curiously, this story in China Daily downplays the earthquake benefit angle, giving it only a single line at the end of the story.