– Named “2017 City of Suzhou Innovative Social Science Outreach Flagship Project”

The private salons among the Nineteenth Century intelligentsia and artistic elite were an event of envy and nostalgia – monumental musicians like Chopin, Liszt and Paganini, or literary giants such as Balzac, Hugo, Dumas Sr., or poetic souls such as Heine and Musset met in these gatherings to explore creative possibilities and probe into transcendental issues of existence, thus giving rise to a socially admired and culturally elevated phenomenon known as the “salon.”

We cannot return to that irretrievable golden age of utter inspiration and fascination. But in the monthly SZSO Music Salons, we have attempted to re-enact those evenings of fervent discussions and passionate debates on arts and culture during the encounters with our featured guests. Through in-depth dialogues, live demonstrations, and audience interaction, the stories inspiring the music and the history underpinning the music are shared and appreciated. In 2017, Music Salons featured a variety of topics to accompany the programming highlights in the 2017 season, such as Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs, Ravel and his Scheherazade, Passion and Women According to Bizet, as well as Greek Mythology and Astrology in Music. 2018 will usher in a new brand of ‘infotainment’. The SZSO Music Salon series will continue to provide a premier platform for sharing and discussing on arts and culture.