TONY HAYS, San Clemente

Jim Kempton claims that “2.5 billion Chinese and Indian citizens” have never heard of Mozart (SC Times, Sept 12-18). I would guess that Jim hasn’t spent much time in Shanghai, which has a world class symphony orchestra, and when they are in town, posters for orchestral concerts are plastered around the Shanghai metro. The orchestra has also performed at the Segerstrom Center. Shanghai has two other symphony orchestras, plus an opera company. Beijing has a symphony orchestra and chamber orchestra. Eleven other cities in China have symphony orchestras, and there are three Chinese national orchestras. Several of the world’s greatest classical musicians are of Chinese descent—Yo-Yo Ma (born in Paris, but his father was a music professor in Nanjing), Lang Lang (born in Shenyang), Yuja Wang (born in Beijing) immediately spring to mind. India has two national orchestras, and there is a chamber orchestra in Calcutta. It wouldn’t surprise me too much to be told more people in China have heard of Mozart than in the United States.

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