ince 1962, tours have been a vital part of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. Over the past six decades, the ensemble has successfully toured the Philippines, Canada, the former Soviet Union, East Asia, Central Europe, Italy, and, most recently, Mexico. In total, HRO has toured more than eighteen countries across four continents.
Tours are a valuable opportunity for student musicians to not only make music in novel settings but also to connect with different parts of the world. From joining forces with ensembles from the destination country to exploring cultural repertoire, HRO uses music as a vehicle to create lasting connections and impact. Historically, tours have been an important social element of the orchestra: in rigorously performing and traveling together, members have the chance to connect outside of the campus. Many friendships begin and strengthen on tours!
Tours are an important part of the orchestra’s culture, and we strive to share our artistry with audiences all over the world. During our 2022 tour of Mexico, we collaborated with students from UNAM and Universidad de Guanajuato to perform concerts in cities such as San Miguel de Allende, León, and Mexico City. We were inspired by our collaborators and audience members alike, many of whom approached us after the concert to express their love of music—a clear view of the impact a tour can have.
Our upcoming tour destination is South Korea, where we are returning for the first time since 2015. Building on the success of our previous tour, we are thrilled to form new friendships, take part in cultural exchanges, and share our beloved music with a global audience once again.
We depart from campus on Thursday, March 7, 2024, destined for Seoul, where we will arrive on Saturday morning. Over the following days, we will explore Gwangjang and Namdaemun Markets, the oldest and largest traditional markets in Korea known for their street food and fabrics; Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest palace in Korea built over 600 years ago; and Lotte World, home to impressive theme parks and Lotte World Tower, the sixth-tallest building in the world. On Tuesday, March 12, we will visit Ewha University for a special musical exchange with the Ewha University Orchestra. We conclude our time in Seoul with our first concert of the tour in Lotte Hall at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, March 13 featuring musicians from the Beautiful Mind Orchestra. We will be performing works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Bernstein, and Choi.
Following our time in Seoul, we head to Jeonju the following day and perform in Moak Hall at the Sori Arts Center at 7:30 pm, including works by Saariaho and Ravel, in addition to Tchaikovsky. We make a quick turnaround and depart for Geoje Island on Friday, March 15, stopping at a traditional Hanok village before arriving at the Hanwha Belvedere Resort, which features beautiful beaches and a range of outdoor activities. Our third and final concert in Korea will be in the Tongyeong Concert Hall at 5 pm on Saturday, March 16. As our tour comes to an end, we return to Seoul for one last night, followed by an overnight stay in Istanbul, Turkiye, before returning to Cambridge.
We want to thank our partners and sponsors in Korea for making this tour possible. Particularly, we want to thank Hanwha for their generous sponsorship of the entire tour; the City of Jeonju for hosting our second concert; and the Harvard Club of Korea for welcoming us at Lotte Hall in Seoul.
View our Case for Support for Korea 2024 and consider donating here!
HRO takes pride in the level of musicianship and camaraderie that our tours foster and understands that every time we set foot in another country, we are ambassadors for Harvard.
Past HRO Tours:
Mexico 2022 (Itinerary)
Argentina 2017 (Itinerary)
Middle East 2013
South America 2000
Asia 1985 (Taiwan, Korea, Japan)
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