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Irish musicians to be ‘ambassadors’ on China trip

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The renowned Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra will join forces with traditional music sensations Frankie Gavin and De Dannan to act as Ireland’s latest musical ambassadors to the Orient.

"I see it as a wonderful model to sell Ireland as a business destination to the Chinese," said Frances Feeney, the tour’s business manager.

"It is as much about culture as it is business. There are so many opportunities in Asia and it could be used as a model to brand Ireland," she added.

The show will be an interesting blend of classical music, traditional music, and even opera. The 66 strong contingent will leave Dublin Airport this week; the tour kicks off July 6 at the official Shanghai Grand Theatre's World Expo Programme with further performances to be held in the Chinese cities of Suzhou and Changchun.

The motley blend of musicians will include violin players, uilleann pipe performers, and sopranos.

The musicians will also open the Beijing Festival summer season concert series with two performances at the prestigiousNational Centre for the Performing Arts at the Opera House.

Beijing TV and China Central TV stations will also both broadcast the events to millions of viewers around China, affording the Irish musicians an even greater opportunity to market Ireland abroad.

The orchestra last year extensively toured in the US performing 49 concerts in 24 States, but admitted that receiving the requisite funding for this year’s tour was a struggle.

The musicians’ visit follows close on the heels of a recent successful trade mission headed by Minister For Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin to China and Asia.

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