The first performances held overseas in this centennial year took place across Asia, as members of the Gewandhausorchester tour to China, Japan and South Korea with Gotthold Schwarz and the remarkably talented St. Thomas Boys' Choir, or Thomaner Chor, in March. The cooperation brought St. Matthew's Passion to new audiences, much as a similar tour in December 2015 brought J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to the public in cities across Israel.
With a very tight schedule for the players and singers, the Asia tour began March 5 in Hong Kong, the group playing shows nearly every other day, with stops in Shanghai, Tokyo, Kawasaki, Nishinomiya, Daegu and Seoul. Audiences were roused by the performances under the conductorship of Gotthold Schwarz, with one attendee in Seoul remarking that the pain of his life had been lifted while listening to the memorable concert. “The singing was heavenly,” said another attendee.
“The singing was heavenly,” - concertgoer in Seoul
No stranger to the Far East, the Gewandhausorchester has led historic concerts since their first visit to Japan in 1961; since then, they've performed nearly 80 times in Tokyo to a very receptive audience. While visiting four countries in 12 days may sound like a difficult undertaking even for these old hands at touring, the performances on these tours go off without a hitch, as we at DHL have seen year in and year out as part of our partnership.
The synchronisity of the orchestra players and the young singers is apparent not only on stage, it is something that keeps everything running smoothly behind the scenes. Not missing a beat is important both in front of audiences and in the tightly timed travel schedule.
Great is in the Detail
DHL is proud to be the Official Logistics Partner to the Gewandhausorchester, making these important cultural exchanges possible by handling all of the orchestra's logistics needs via our global network to ensure the instruments and necessary materials are well taken care of. From the conductor's baton to the violinist's bow to the choir's sheet music, DHL ensures every logistical detail is in place on the Gewandhausorchester tours abroad.
To follow along on those tours, you can subscribe to the special Gewandhausorchester travel blog or follow the Gewandhausorchester's Twitter feed @Gewandhaus.
And stay tuned to In Motion to hear more about the tours to come in 2016, including concerts to be held across Europe in the coming months.