Chinese Orchestra to Play for Pope, Suggesting Warmer Ties

May 5, 2008


Source: Washington Post

Wire Service: AP

The China Philharmonic Orchestra plans to perform this week for Pope Benedict XVI, state media reported Monday, the latest indication that the often-strained ties between Beijing and the Vatican are improving.

The performance at the Vatican on Wednesday, featuring Mozart's "Requiem," was initiated by the Chinese and arranged rather quickly, conductor Yu Long told the state-run China Daily.

The concert was listed on the Vatican's public schedule.

"I certainly feel very excited. It is a historic visit. Although we played in Rome in 2004, this will be the orchestra's first appearance at the Vatican," Yu was quoted as saying.