I made a visit to Beijing in 2008, curious to see if the then widespread cliché about China being the "future of classical music" had any basis of reality. In my piece "Symphony of Millions," which is reprinted in Listen to This, I came to the conclusion that the Chinese classical scene, while energetic and full of promise, was hardly the juggernaut that some Western observers perceived, and that a current of political fear ran beneath it. "If you are not free yourself, how can you interpret music freely?" a former music critic told me. Since the Beijing Olympics, that fear has moved more obviously to the surface. The latest episode involves the cancellation of Huang Ruo's opera Dr. Sun Yat-sen, which was to have had its premiere at the National Centre for the Performing Arts last month. The young American journalist and scholar Nick Frisch, who accompanied me around Beijing when I visited in 2008, has a must-read piece in the New York Times about the Huang Ruo affair. Particularly troubling is the fact that Carl F. Bucherer, a Swiss company with Beijing interests, abruptly withdrew support for upcoming Hong Kong performances of Huang's work. Nick also raises the question of whether the Philadelphia Orchestra has acted wisely in entering into a partnership with a Chinese arts bureaucracy that is inclined to place limits on creative freedom. All told, it's a hugely dismaying story.