Plasson, whose one-year contract calls for him to conduct ten programs, is the first foreigner to be artistic director of a state orchestra in mainland China. Orchestra Executive Director Guan Xia reports that he has been asked by many other performing arts groups how he managed to finesse the appointment.Some of Musical America's articles are subscription based, so I'm not sure if this link will work for everyone.
The secret may be in the financing: Plasson’s services – reportedly $3 million renminbi (about $440,000) -- are being paid in full by a private sponsor.
For those of you who are still thinking that the Oregon Symphony should reduce it's concert schedule to something like six concerts, you might see someone of Kalmar's caliber go to an orchestra in Asia. He has conducted several orchestras there.