Day 10: Ni hao Shanghai!

We made it to China! Yay! We arrived safely in Shanghai at midnight last night, where we were met at the airport by Tina, who will be our tour guide for the next 12 days. A driver took us back to our hotel, which is very swish.
Here's another hotel we drove past that we thought was funny - "Hotel Thing Confluence":


We had rehearsals at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre this afternoon, then our first performance in China was this evening! Here's us outside the Arts Centre:


We had an afternoon break in a shopping area of Shanghai:


The concert was an interesting experience - we weren't sure what to expect, as many people had warned us not to be put off if the audiences doesn't like certain pieces, or if they don't applaud, or are quite talkative during performances. Luckily our audience was pretty well-behaved and attentive - there wasn't any of the walking around and answering telephones that we had been warned about! We played Beethoven Op. 70 No. 2, Elena Kats-Chernin's Spirit and the Maiden, Ravel Piano Trio, and Piazzolla The Four Seasons. It seemed like the audience loved the Kats-Chernin and the Piazzolla, though they were a bit luke-warm about the Ravel. Afterwards, they told us that Ravel's music was quite unfamiliar-sounding for Chinese audiences, whereas the Kats-Chernin trio, although it is a much more recent composition, really touched people immediately.

The concert hall had a round stage encircled by the audience, and excellent acoustics. Here is a photo from our concert this evening!


I will upload the video of us playing in tonight's concert as soon as we leave China - Youtube (and Facebook) is blocked here!

We finished off the evening with a delicious dinner at a restaurant in downtown Shanghai. It had a few interesting things on the menu - live crab, boiled frog, duck tongues, fish mouths, bullfrog... Our meal was really delicious, although we didn't eat any of those things.