When we say “music is borderless”, we mean usually that music is a universal language through which all people can surpass linguistic barriers and geographical limits to feel the pulsation of the musical experience. Elaborating on this notion, what classical music manages to achieve is not only to bridge the gaps between different cultures, but also to make the past resonate in the present.

Since its formal establishment in the 17th Century as a genre, the symphony orchestra has broadened the scope of expression in classical music. Be it intimate works for chamber orchestra or massive operatic creations, generations of composers have churned out masterpieces that have gifted humanity with easily recognizable household tunes and philosophical treatises of epic dimensions. Be it a short, episodic gem or an extended, profound creation, classical music has come to be defined as “classy and elegant” throughout this vast repertory of musical variety. Even in today’s world favoring multi-media, cross-discipline, and fusion of art forms, composers who display their talent across different genres and platforms are often steeped in classical training. Whether in mainstream culture or strictly classical sector, any musical composition associated with this characteristic of class and elegance is often the most beloved and respected by popular demand. 

The longevity and transcendental influence of the classical music repertory does not depend only on the class and elegance of its style, but also on the depth and content of its expression. This music has lasted hundreds of years because it has managed to encapsulate universal truths and eternal emotions throughout both the East and West, across the past and present. Such themes as the awe of the divine, purity or shortcoming of humanity, or even mundane expressions of basic human emotional states, are as common and necessary as the very air any human being has to breathe. If we set aside whatever pre-conceived notions or even pre-existing prejudices about classical music we may have, we will find something in classical music that can resonate within us, provoke something in us; this resonance can even be evoked in other forms of humanities such as literature, science and fine arts.

How is classical music related to our daily life? The Suzhou Symphony Orchestra has sought to find the answers to this question through its education and outreach activities. The SZSO aims not only to popularize and provide access to knowledge of the symphonic art, but also to touch different target groups of listeners with customized projects so that the experience of listening is more alive and long-lasting.

In 2018, the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra has re-imaged the six projects launched in 2017, and re-invented two new brands which will serve different segments of the audience: Music Salon and SZSO Music Classroom.

BEYOND THE STAGE