The Philadelphia Orchestra has seen many firsts, but few could have imagined this one. In June 2017, the well-traveled ensemble will touch down at Genghis Khan International Airport in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar for concerts that may well be attended by nomads on horseback.
"Or in Jaguars and Cadillacs," said Bulgaa Altangerel, the Mongolian ambassador to the United States.
Such is 21st-century Mongolia, whose urban population constitutes one of the fastest-growing Asian economies. Mongolian officials have been eying the Philadelphia Orchestra's residencies in China - which include concerts as well as street-level interaction with the public - and want a residency for their own country.
A memorandum of understanding with the government of Mongolia was scheduled to be announced today at the Capitol in Washington. The agreement also enhances diplomatic relations that have existed with now-democratic Mongolia for more 30 years.
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