Today’s interview is with Astrid Poghosyan, an Armenian violinist and the first non-Chinese management employee in the 140-year history of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Astrid is the youngest guest in Season One of the podcast, but she has achieved a lot in the nine years that she has been here in China. Astrid and I talk about her passion for music, her passion for Armenia, and her life as an unofficial ambassador for both those parts of her identity.
Astrid was in the first batch of graduates who could stay on in China after completing their studies. Before that, graduates needed to leave the country and work elsewhere for a couple of years before searching for employment back in China. Her application number under the new Visa regime was "001", and at the time she became a focus of debate on Chinese social media on the value of allowing young foreigners to stay and work in Shanghai. So it's a pleasure to release this recording, and give her the final word on this debate.