The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra was honoured with an invitation by the Chinese Ministry of Culture to give a major Concert Tour of China in July 2009. This unique series of Concerts, organised and promoted by Huihuang Entertainments, was the first time a Fiddle Orchestra from Scotland had performed in China. Some Chinese music, specially scored for the Orchestra, was included and the Halls echoed to the playing and singing in Scots and Chinese of Auld Lang Syne at the end of each performance.
Arriving in Beijing on Tuesday 30th June, 70 members of the Orchestra performed in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Huzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen before travelling to Hong Kong for the final part of the Tour.
The Tour opened on the 2nd July with a Concert in the Beijing Concert Hall. Next was a morning performance on the 4th in the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre and then on Sunday 5th in the Suzhou People’s Meeting Hall, followed on the next evening by a concert in the Huzhou Theatre. The magnificent auditorium of Hangzhou Grand Theatre was the venue on the 7th with the Chinese part of the Tour climaxing with a Concert in the dramatic surroundings of the 1,500 sell-out Shenzhen Concert Hall. The Orchestra then travelled to Hong Kong to conclude the tour.
All the Concerts received wide and comprehensive publicity throughout China – posters, press, radio and TV – resulting in audiences of 1,200 to 1,500 at each venue. The visual spectacle of 70 young Scottish instrumentalists, each kilted with their own distinctive tartan, helped no end to develop the cultural exchanges between China and Scotland.