The Philadelphia Orchestra is turning its Beijing concert into a benefit whose proceeds will help rebuild the earthquake-devastated Sichuan school system.
The June 2 concert, with pianist Lang Lang and conductor Christoph Eschenbach, is being recorded and broadcast by CCTV - China's largest TV network- which will feed it to Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV to broadcast it to its viewing audience. The concert will not air live, but by delay no later than June 5 on CCTV and by Phoenix no later than June 8. Potentially hundreds of millions of viewers will see and hear the orchestra.
Negotiations are underway with PBS for a U.S. broadcast, said an orchestra spokeswoman.
The orchestra is waiving its broadcast fee and will make a collective donation to the China Youth Development Foundation, which is coordinating the adopt-a-school program. Over $3 million has been raised from corporations so far, the orchestra spokeswoman said, from Walt Disney Company; Merrill Lynch; Microsoft (China) Co., Ltd.; NASDAQ; Coca Cola China Limited; Motorola China Limited; Tyco Electronics; and Black & Decker.
Broadcasts will solicit individual donations. The campaign will continue to collect donations until June 9. Governor Rendell is supporting the effort, and volunteers from the Commonwealth's Beijing office are staffing the effort.