A moment of catharsis in the midst of the bustling heart of down-town Tokyo: four members of Leipzig’s world famous Gewandhausorchestra used Monday, March 17, for an half-hourly performance in one of the mega shopping malls of the Japanese capital.

As ambassadors of the Free State of Saxony and its campaign „Simply Saxony“, the string players of the orchestra used the opportunity for a congenial display of Saxon spontaneity: already dressed in their evening attire, the quartet lured away hundreds of passer-bys of “Tokyo Mid-Town” – a shopping mall visited by some 50 people each day – into the world of classical music. The musicians, currently on an extended concert tour in Japan, attracted the curiosity of the Japanese performing famous works of Tschaikowsky.

Riccardo Chailly, bandmaster of the orchestra, underlines the outstanding tradition and excellent reputation of the Gewandhausorchestra in the world of music: „Leipzig lives music, as all of Saxony does! I am pleased and thankful that we again have the opportunity to perform in Japan to bring our singular sound-world to the audience. And I am proud that this concert project helps to support and promote the cultural identity of Saxony far away from home.”

The audience thus not only got a first-hand impression of Saxony’s rich music tradition but also of the typical Saxon mentality that is the focal point of the image campaign: pragmatism, creativity, cordiality and enthusiasm for the rich culture of the Free State.

The director of the Gewandhaus, Andreas Schulz, beamed about the small concert: „Bringing our unique sound and culture to the Japanese audience also in a spontaneous and improvised open-air concert in the middle of Tokyo and outside of the large concert halls makes us all happy. What a nice opportunity to be an ambassador for our hometown Leipzig and the Free State of Saxony!“

About the Gewandhausorchestra:

Founded more than 250 years ago, the world-famous Gewandhausorchestra is the world’s oldest civic symphony orchestra. Thanks to its distinguished position and lasting formative impression in music history, its numerous tours on all continents since 1916 as well as hundreds of recordings, it is to date one of the most popular symphonic ensembles. In more than 200 performances each year the orchestra displays the unique variety in its repertoire and never fails to amaze its audience. From March 14 to 24 the orchestra is on tour in Shanghai and Japan and acts as renowned ambassador of the Free State’s campaign “Simply Saxony”.