Australia's Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has launched a three-year partnership with the Xinghai Conservatory of Music (XCM) in Guangzhou, China.

The tie-up will involve musicians from the SSO coaching XCM students, starting in Guangzhou during the orchestra's tour of China this October. At a later date, XCM students will be invited to Sydney to play in the SSO's training orchestra, the Sydney Sinfonia.

The two institutions aim to create a long-term programme of masterclasses, exchanges, orchestral workshops, commissions and tour performances.

The move by the SSO reflects an ambition to look beyond the Australian market, and position itself as the premier Asia-Pacific symphony orchestra. Guangzhou, for its part, wants to raise its status as a centre of culture, and make itself as much as a draw for the world's leading orchestras as Beijing and Shanghai.

The partnership between the SSO and the XCM comes just months after the Juilliard School of Music announced a plan to establish an educational institute in Tianjin, 75 miles south-east of Beijing.