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Music promoter no slave to borders

By Mu Qian  (China Daily)

14:19, November 02, 2012

His past projects have involved touring international orchestras in China and vice versa, but Wu Jiatong is about to do something different: tour a foreign orchestra in another part of the world.

Wu, general manager of Wu Promotion, one of the first private touring companies and promoters in China, is planning a Middle Eastern tour of the Symphony Orchestra of India in February. Also in the works: a European tour of the Mexico State Symphony Orchestra in 2014.

The company has set up offices in Muscat and Munich, and is planning to open offices in North and South Americas by 2016.

"We are going to be a global company. That means, any artist or performing arts group in the world who wants to tour a different country or region can come to us," he says.

Wu finds that not many Chinese cities are culturally mature enough to receive a commercial tour of an international symphony orchestra. Plus, the long distances between them makes a China tour as onerous for an orchestra as a tour between countries.

So he is eager to expand outside of China even as he continues to bring international performers here as much as he can.

Wu will begin with India, as he sees opportunities in India that China used to have 20 years ago but not any more.

"Twenty years ago, everybody wanted to perform in China, even for little or no fee, because everybody wanted to see China," he says. "However, having toured China a few times, and after the market here has developed for two decades, international artists would demand commercial tours that pay them as much as anywhere else."

In India, where Indian music is very strong while Western performing arts are still rare. So international artists are as eager to enter the market as they were to come to China 20 years ago.

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