Victorian arts and music strike a chord in Beijing

Melbourne Symphony OrchestraVictoria’s cultural and creative industries have hit a high note in Beijing, with an historic agreement struck between the Victorian Government and the People’s Republic of China.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Culture Mr Luo Shugang have signed a five year Cultural Exchange Agreement that will enable the exchanges of festivals, creative partnerships, tours and artist in residence opportunities.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is already planning a wide-ranging collaboration with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and today a trio from the MSO was on hand to perform at the Ministry of Culture headquarters in Beijing.

“This is an important moment for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as a flagship cultural ambassador,” says Managing Director André Gremillet. “We are pleased to be planning a wide-ranging collaboration between the Shanghai and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras which will greatly benefit both orchestras and their community. This cultural agreement is the first step in a very exciting direction for the Orchestra and the State of Victoria.”

The new agreement also focuses on exhibition and collection loans, staff and resource exchange, and sharing cultural, performing and artistic experiences. Over the first year of the partnership, China and Victoria propose to deliver cultural activities, including tours of China by the Australian Ballet and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the establishment of a Chinese film festival in Melbourne.

Victoria is the only Australian state to sign an agreement with the national government of the People’s Republic of China, due largely to Melbourne’s reputation as the country’s arts and culture capital. The agreement is expected to boost Victoria’s creative and cultural industries, which employs more than 220,000 Victorians and represents almost ten per cent of the state’s total economy.

The creative and cultural economy generated $1.4 billion in exports – mostly in services – and attracted cultural tourism worth $1 billion. This contributes to Victoria’s liveability, making the state an attractive destination for new global talent and investment.

“Whether it’s music, performing arts, exhibitions or providing the opportunity for artist and staff exchanges, there’s so much we can learn from each other through a unique agreement like this,” says Mr Andrews. “Melbourne’s arts and cultural events calendar is already the most envied in the country and I look forward to the exciting additions that will stem from our new cultural ties with China.”

Image: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra