This July 2017 trip to Taiwan was the third such exchange I participated in during our 2016-2017 season alone. I know of no other orchestra that sustains this level of global activity or provides such opportunities for its members. In Edmonton (October 2016), we met new friends from both the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (gCO) and Xianse Temple Teenage Chinese Orchestra, and in April 2017, we hosted members of the gCO in Toronto. This trip has allowed me to re-connect with friends I met in both trips. This is significant, because connections are forged over repeated meetings. I especially look forward to meeting conductor Huang—a new friend from this trip—again.
This particular meeting also opened my eyes to the amount of Chinese music activity in Taiwan. I was struck by everything, from the size of the orchestra (over 100 musicians!), to the beauty of the National Concert Hall where we performed, to the professional and collaborative attitude of the Xianse Temple Orchestra. What sonic power! What virtuosic playing! How I wish we could transplant the whole group over to Toronto!
Well, I can’t quite do that, but let’s see what we can foster here in Toronto.