#Orchestras in #Asia on the move

The international orchestra scene is on the move. From 5th to 7th October 2016 orchestra managers from Russia and Asia met for the 11th AAPRO summit in Tokyo. “AAPRO” stands for Alliance of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras.

AAPRO unites orchestras from the Asia-Pacific region

AAPRO unites orchestras from the Asia-Pacific region

Hosted by the Association of Japanese Orchestras participants discussed several topics, latest developments in South Korea with its 30 professional orchestras or the role of orchestras at Olympic Games. Rudolph Tang, Chinese journalist from Shanghai, reports in depth here.

Next AAPRO summit will be hosted by the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra in August 2018 in Shanghai.


10th AAPRO Summit in Mumbai – India (Sept. 19 – 22)

The 10th Summit of the Alliance of the Asia Pacific Region Orchestras (AAPRO) will be held in the Museum at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA Mumbai this September between the 19th and 22nd.

Asian-Pacific Orchestra Summit

Asian-Pacific Orchestra Summit

Devoted to serving the interests and advocacy of orchestras and ensembles in Asia Pacific region, the Alliance of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras (AAPRO) was founded in 1996. Since then, it has contributed enormously to enhancing exchanges among its members, raising professional standards and increasing classical music audiences in the region. The AAPRO is a creative platform for its member orchestras to exchange with their peers around the globe. It also supports its members to promote their profiles in the world of music. Its affiliation, the Asia-Pacific United Orchestra, is such a vehicle that showcases the functions of AAPRO on the stage.

Some members of APPRO apart from the NCPA and the SOI include China Symphony Development Foundation, Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Foundation, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Taiwan Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and Moscow City Symphony “Russian Philharmonic” among many others.

See the agenda:

X Summit of Alliance of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras (Mumbai, India)

Date: September 19th, 20th ,21st & 22nd, 2013

Venue: National Centre for the Performing Arts (Jamshed Bhabha Theatre)



Simultaneous interpretation for English, Chinese and Japanese will be provided

19 Sep Thu  
10:00-17:00 Registration                Jamshed Bhabha Theatre-Lower Foyer
11:15-15:30 Guided walk around NCPA for all General Committee Members
14:00-15:30 General Committee Meeting Museum at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre
15:30-15:45 Coffee break                  Jamshed Bhabha Theatre-Upper Foyer
15:45-17:00 General Committee Meeting Museum at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre
17:30-18:00 Group photo shooting for general committee and all participants Jamshed Bhabha Theatre-Lower Foyer  (Near Marble staircase)
18:15-18:45 Guided walk around NCPA for all delegates
19:00-21:00 Welcoming dinner    Jamshed Bhabha Theatre-Lower Foyer
20 Sep Fri  
9:00-9:30 Welcoming address
  Mr. Khushroo N Suntook, Chairman of National Centre for the Performing Arts(Mumbai), founder of Symphony Orchestra of India

Mme. Guo Shan, Chairwoman of AAPRO, President of China Symphony Development Foundation

Video greetings

9:30-10:30 Keynote speech
  Mr. Avi  Shoshani, secretary general of Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

Securing future audiences for classical music, approaching young audiences through music where the music does not serve as the main purpose but as a tool to educate youngsters and avoid juvenile delinquency and building a new generation of musicians – amateurs and professionals.

10:30-10:45 Coffee break                 Jamshed Bhabha Theatre-Upper Foyer
10:45-12:30 Panel discussion

“Expanding the Classical Music Community by Outreaching and Nurturing the Younger Audience”


Ms. TOGASHI Hisayo, Chief Manager,Music Forest(Education Department), Japan Philharmonic Orchestra

Ms. KAJIKAWA Junko, Development Department, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra

Mr. KUWABARA Hiroshi, General Manager of Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras




Mrs. Sharmini Wettimuny Honorary Chairman of the Board of Governors, the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka

Lunch              Jamshed Bhabha Theatre – Upper Foyer

14:00-15:30 Panel discussion

“Localization ——Combine the National Music with the Western Art Music to a greater maturity”









Ms. Joyce Chiou, Executive Director of Taiwan Philharmonic


Ms. Raikhan Iskendirova, Director of Almaty Symphony Orchestra

Merger of Classic and Folklore Traditions as a Component of Success of Modern Performing Arts of Symphony Orchestras and Attracting Investors


Mr. TAN How Pang  General manager of msm-productions Singapore Pte Ltd

Strategizing recorded media to maximise your market, developing new avenues

16:00-16:15 Coffee break                  Jamshed Bhabha Theatre-Upper Foyer
16:15-17:00 Speech

Mr. Chen Guangxian, Chief Executive of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

The Reformation Journey of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Since 2008, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has embarked an array of ambitious reforms including the formation of board committee, the diversification of funding, introduction of new musician employment mechanism, change of salary system and more, all of which have worked together to bring in the vitality of unprecedented scale to the orchestra. In 2014, the orchestra will embrace its new horizontal by moving to its new home—a brand new concert hall.

19:00-21:00 Concert

presented by Symphony Orchestra of India under the baton of Mr. Charles Dutoit           Jamshed Bhabha Theatre (Auditorium)

21:00-22:00 Dinner                       Amadeus (Restaurant at the NCPA)
  (for All Delegates with  Mr. Charles Dutoit)
21 Sep Sat  
9:00-9:45 Speech


Mr. Zane Dalal, the Resident Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of India

The state of Western classical music in India

Western Music Traditions in the subcontinent have been present since the advent of trade and contact with Europe. Our story ranges from the worship based music of the Jesuit mission churches; the westernization under the British Raj; to the ambitious and indefatigable amateur groups who maintained an interest for performances and schooling through the last century, to the modern millennium of professional accomplishment.   India faces a unique set of challenges and our story is interwoven with the local fabric.

9:45-10:30 Showcase
9:45 – 9:50

9:50 – 10:00



Introduction to Indian Music by Dr. Suvarnalata Rao

Glimpses of music traditions in India (Presentation based on NCPA video archives)

Live presentation of North Indian art music ensemble

Percussion instrument (Tabla): Dr. Aneesh Pradhan (8 min)

Melody instrument (Sarangi): Mr. Sangeet Mishra (8 min)
Vocal music: Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande (12 min)     

10:30-10:45 Coffee break                 Jamshed Bhabha Theatre-Upper Foyer
10:45-12:00 NCPA Initiatives: Our Approach to Advancing Western Classical Music in India

Mr. K. N. Suntook, Chairman National Centre for Performing Arts & Founder, Symphony Orchestra of India
Mr. Ed Smith, Consultant, Symphony Orchestra of India
Mr. Marat Bisengaliev, Music Director, Symphony Orchestra of India

Mr. Zane Dalal, Resident Conductor, Symphony Orchestra of India
The discussion will focus on the following aspects recognized as fundamental to all orchestras today.
Theatres, performing spaces and suitable venues
Fund raising and engaging with state and private institutions
Audience development and outreach in the Indian context
Educational initiatives
Attracting and developing talent

12:00-14:00 Lunch                  Jamshed Bhabha Theatre – Upper Foyer
14:00-16:00 Panel discussion

Regional Report-“Positioning for Orchestra”


Mme. Guo Shan, Chairwoman of AAPRO, President of China Symphony Development Foundation

A deep look into China orchestras’ development in recent years.

Mr. Seiichiro Sakata, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra


Ms. Kate Lidbetter, Chief executive director of Symphony Services International

An update on exciting developments and interesting activities of the Australian orchestras will be presented.



Coffee break                  Jamshed Bhabha Theatre-Upper Foyer


Ms. Chen Qian Executive Director of Wing of Music Children’s Musical Charity

EL—Sistema in China—— Wings of Music Children’s Musical Charity

17:00-19:00 Dinner
22 Sep Sun  
09:00-10:00 General meeting
10:00-11:00 Closing ceremony
12:00-14:00 Lunch                 Jamshed Bhabha Theatre – Upper Foyer
14:00 City tour

Next Orchestra and Musicians Conferences coming up

After a very interesting annual ABO conference in the UK (Liverpool) earlier this year, dealing with issues like performance review, professional development and retirement planning in the orchestra and other outcomes, the next National Conference of the League of American Orchestras (LAO) is being prepared. From June 5 to 8, delegates will meet in Dallas, Texas. The dates for the 2013 conference are already fixed, too: Monday June 17 – Thursday June 20, 2013, St Louis, MO.

AAPRO Summit

The International Federation of Musicians (FIM), based in Paris, will held its International Congress in Buenos Aires ( Argentina) from October, 3 to 5, 2012. The new EC and Presidium have to be elected for another four years. Decisions and motions for international activities of the Federation will be discussed.

The 9th Summit of AAPRO (Alliance ofAsian-Pacific Region Orchestras) will take place in Macau SAR, China, from November 3 to 6, 2012.

A busy schedule for the international orchestra and musicians family…

Asean Orchestras discuss topic problems

Some 60 participants from orchestras and associations in Asia, Europe and North America have been discussing topic problems of orchestras at the 8th AAPRO Summit in Moscow.

Moscow: AAPRO Summit discussions

Get some ideas from the so called „Russian“ day:   Especially interesting to investigate more about the situation of Russian orchestras. Nobody knows the exact orchestra count and the numbers of musicians. It differs from 70 to 90 all over Russia and from 15 to 20 in Moscow. Funding comes for most of the orchestras (90 percent) from the state, the regions and the cities. But there have been private foundings as well, for example the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) with Mikhael Pletnev which started as a private enterprise in the early 1990s. The payment of the Moscow and St. Petersburg Orchestra musicians has been risen a little bit, but  in other regions it is still on a level of some 150 Euros a month.

Today the RNO gets 50 percent of the budget from the state. The other half of the cake is a) foreign sponsorship (esp. from the Russian Arts Foundation in the US), b) domestic sponsorship from Russian and Russian based foreign enterprises and c) commercial orchestra activities (ticket sales, subscription etc.).  During the last few years the RNO created its own production structures, esp. an own arts production company.

Some Russian participants complained about the lack of clear regulations, for example collective bargaining agreeements and other rules for the orchestra management. Very often management people work on a trial-and-error-basis. A little bit surprising was the message that Russia is not only an export country for more or less cheaper orchestras but even more a developing market for foreign artists, orchestras and ensembles. Indeed, during the AAPRO summit German Brass performed in Moscow and the International House of Music (with a great 3.000 seat hall) invited the Stuttgarter Bachakademie and Leipziger Bachorchester for a Bach Festival.

During the discussions and presentations some other important points were made:

– A Moscow based firm (360 Project Company) has developed a 360 grade display system for illustrated concerts not only on one screen behind the orchestra but using the whole hall. The „Russian Philharmonic“ (Moscow City Symphony) with its new chief conductor Dmitri Jurowski has used this new system for several concert projects already.

Pro 360 presentation

– The Russian Symphony and Chamber Orchestra Managers‘ Association (ASKOR) reported on festival activites to collect money for better orchestra instruments and higher musician salaries by running festival concerts and special masterclasses and training events. However, the ASKOR is not a real manager tool in comparison to other managers associations. It only organizes festivals but there is no real interaction between orchestras, agencies or managers.

– Moscow City Symphony „Russian Philharmonic“ (hosting the summit) and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra (Spivakov) are the only city funded Moscow orchestras. All others in the Moscow region depend on the state funding. The state funded orchestras are almost in the „old shape“ reigned by a conductor. The Russian Philharmonic seems to be the only one with a real professional orchestra management. There is no common spirit, no solidarity between Russian orchestras yet, participants reported.

Russian Philharmonic on stage

– The German and Singapore based MSM Productions informed about media strategies for orchestras and classical music. Internet downloads have been going up, but more for pop and rock music. Classical music is still purchased on CD, DVD and Blue Ray. Orchestras should keep this in mind.

– The final session of the first day dealed with lobbying tools for orchestras and orchestra associations. Examples and thoughts from Germany and Finland gave some fresh inputs how to enhance orchestra activities in the society.

Some more issues of the summit delt with concert programming, the administrative and creative ratio of orchestra management, labour disputes and conflicts and the role of artist managers.

Speakers from Canada, Japan and Hungary pointed out that Asia and Russia are getting better connected to Europe and America: Asean born artists and composers have spread out all over the world. Today many of them are cultural bridge builders and gap fillers, „searching for sense in the sounds“. Orchestra programms and audiences have become much more diverse. In some forms visual elements, projections, puppet theatre etc. have been new applications for performing classiscal and new music.

Audiences have to been surveyd on a regular basis. Some orchestras started to invite destinguished audience members for dicussions on their programming. Beeing competitors with other entertainment branches orchestras have to be innovative as well as better connected with their stakeholders.

Japanese orchestra managers reported on the difficult situation since 3/11 earthquake and tsunami catastrophy. Some halls (Sendai, Kawasaki) have been badly damaged and will be refurbished. 2012 there will be budget cuts for all orchestras in Japan.  Public funding for orchestras in other Asean states is very different. In Hong Kong public support for the orchestras has been increased. In China many orchestras have been founded in the provinces during the last few years. However, many of these orchestra depend extremly on the goodwill of the local mayors and other politicians.  The lack of a classical music tradition is a big challenge for developing new audiences. But successes have been made.

Summit Venue: Moscow International House of Music

Labour disputes, severe funding problems and dramatic cuts were reported from the US (Philadelphia bankrupty, Detroit strikes etc.), Brazil (OSB case), Ecuador, UK, Netherlands, Italy and Germany. Some conflicts, but not all, could have been avoided by better management, some by better communication between management, musicians and the public. Cases of political ignorance with brutal funding cuts need more special and creative answers from the arts institutions.

The AAPRO summit showcased some vibrant development in the Asia Pacific region. Let’s see how the show goes on and look out for the date of the  2012 summit in Asia.

Next Orchestra Manager Conferences coming up

New entries in your diary if you are working in the orchestra management:

From September 8 to 11, 2011 the Alliance of Asia Pacific Region Orchestras (AAPRO)  is going to held the 8th Summit in Moscow hosted by the Moscow City Symphony Orchestra “Russian Philharmonic”. Find more detailed information here.

Conference Discussion

Conference Discussion

In Germany at the Deutscher Orchestertag orchestra managers from all over Germany and guests from Switzerland and Austria will have their annual meeting in Berlin on November 13 and 14, 2011. „Music Education for Adults“ will be the core issue. Read more (German)

The Association of British Orchestras (ABO) has announced to held its next national conference in Liverpool from 18-20 January 2012, hosted by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

The League of American Orchestras has already annouced the next two annual conferences: 2012 – Tuesday June 5 – Friday June 8, 2012 in Dallas, Texas, hosted by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

2013 – Monday June 17 – Thursday June 20, 2013, St. Louis, Missouri, hosted by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

The 22nd IAMA International Conference will be presented at the Palace of Arts, Budapest, 19-21 April 2012.