On March 10, 2014 the German Leipzig Gewandhausorchester will embark on its 21st tour of Japan. It will be the Orchestra’s third tour of the country under the direction of Riccardo Chailly since 2009. The tour to the Far East will be preceded by an appearance in Frankfurt and Shanghai.
Thanks to the support of DHL tour concerts of the orchestra will be webcasted live online for the first time: 14th and 15th March from Shanghai via www.gewandhaus.de and www.dhl.com/inmotion, 12:30 p.m. (CET).
The Gewandhausorchester has been a regular guest in the major concert halls of Japan even longer than it has in those of the USA. The Orchestra’s first appearance in Tokyo was in 1961 with Franz Konwitschny, performing a complete cycle of all nine symphonies of Beethoven – the first orchestra to do so in Japan. The Orchestra’s second tour of Japan took place ten years later, in 1971, under the direction of Konwitschny’s successor as Gewandhauskapellmeister, Kurt Masur. Masur was to conduct the Orchestra in 114 concerts in Japan until 1995.
Further metropolises have since featured on the Gewandhausorchester’s tours to the Far East, some so regularly that each visit has become something of a homecoming. The Orchestra made its first appearance in Shanghai under Riccardo Chailly in 2009; Kawasaki has, similarly, hosted the Orchestra only once to date, in 1971. Osaka, on the other hand, has seen 29 guest appearances of the Gewandhausorchester since the first visit in 1961. Kyoto has hosted the Orchestra on seven occasions, most recently with Riccardo Chailly in 2009. Tokyo is one of the cities that the Gewandhausorchester has visited most frequently on its tours of the world – a total of 77 appearances have been made in the Japanese capital, including 15 together with the St. Thomas Boys Choir.