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International Musical Ambassadors
Since 1992, Mr. Salonen and the Philharmonic have made seven critically-acclaimed international tours. In August 1992, the Philharmonic became the first American orchestra in residence for both opera and concert at the Salzburg Festival. Both the Orchestra and Mr. Salonen won international critical praise for their performances of Messiaen's monumental opera St. François d'Assise, in a new production directed by Peter Sellars. Mr. Salonen and Pierre Boulez conducted the Philharmonic's orchestral concert at the Festival. The critical reception at Salzburg was repeated the following spring (April 1993) when the Philharmonic, with Salonen conducting, served as resident orchestra at the Lucerne Easter Festival.
Three tours in 1994 took them to Japan and Taiwan in March, to six major European music festivals in August and September, and to Mexico City in November. They were in residence at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris for a highly acclaimed series of opera and concert performances in the fall of 1996 and returned to Europe for a successful visit to the Canary Islands Music Festival and Spain in January/February 1997. They undertook their latest tour of European festivals in the summer of 1998, and returned for two concert performances in Mexico City in October of 1999.
The Philharmonic's distinguished touring history began in 1956 with a 10-week, 58-concert U.S. State Department-sponsored "goodwill journey" through Asia from April through June, under the direction of Alfred Wallenstein. Eleven years later, Zubin Mehta led the Philharmonic on its second State Department tour, playing 39 concerts in 23 cities around the world. In 1974, the Philharmonic became the first American orchestra to perform at the famous BBC Prom Concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall. The orchestra has continued to perform frequently in Europe's major musical centers.
As one of America's leading orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic is constantly in demand at home, as well as abroad. And, every season, the Philharmonic performs a series of concerts in New York and other cities on the East Coast of the United States.