By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Orchestra will soon be packing its bags for a three-week tour of Asia.

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Just after three musicians from the ensemble serenaded everyone in the Mayor’s Reception Room,
Orchestra President Allison Vulgamore said the “fabulous Philadelphians” will play major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha and Shenzhen. They will then continue on to concerts in Toyko, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan:

“We don’t go, play and leave,” explains Vulgamore. “We play phenomenal concerts and create great connections between our people.”

Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin, about to embark on his inaugural tour with the Orchestra, says they’ll present works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Mahler, along with special performances of ‘Nu Shu,’ by Chinese composer Tan Dun:

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“It’s very important to do what we do best, also to be varied.”

Meantime, the Maestro is getting used to Philadelphia, including walking around town.”

“I climbed my first rocky steps yesterday,” he said.

During a photo-op, Mayor Nutter did his best impression of playing an orchestra member’s cello (see photo above).

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