IVLP Alumni Spins Tale of Broadway’s Path to Shanghai, Delights and Surprises Audience

Leading off PAS Shanghai’s Summer IVLP (International Visitor Leadership Program) Alumni Speaker Series, Qian Shijin (IVLP 1988), spoke to a rapt audience on how his IVLP experience impacted his career trajectory and professional aspirations. Lacking previous interest or knowledge of Broadway, during his time in the U.S. he became fascinated with Les Mis and the entire genre of Broadway musicals, sparking in him a dream to bring Broadway musicals to China. Professor Qian spoke to the numerous challenges and unexpected lessons learned along the 14-year journey to successfully bring the first Broadway musical to the Chinese market in 2002, Les Mis. From that time, he worked to bring numerous other well-known musicals to Shanghai, including Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, The Lion King, and The Sound of Music. Using a carefully curated selection of video and music clips, Professor highlighted for the audience notable differences between opera, theatrical productions, and musicals. Now retired, Professor Qian is the former General Manager of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and former Artistic Director of the Shanghai Grand Theatre. Given the overwhelming response by the audience to his talk, Shanghai American Center plans to welcome him back for additional talks.