Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Russia & North Europe Tour, 2015

Tour Dates: 5th October - 22nd October, 2015

Praised as "The Orchestral Pearl of the Capital of China," the Beijing Symphony Orchestra (BSO) was established in October 1977...

Tour Dates
  • 5th October - 22nd October, 2015

Tour Countries: Russia, Finland, Sweden

Beijing Symphony Orchestra

Praised as "The Orchestral Pearl of the Capital of China," the Beijing Symphony Orchestra (BSO) was established in October 1977, and today is a focal point of musical art, performance and culture in China.

The BSO is known worldwide for its impeccable standards, as well as for the depth of its Western and Chinese repertoire. The BSO is the resident Orchestra of the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. As observers, participants and creators of the musical culture of Beijing, the BSO has evolved in accordance with the pace of China's reform and opening-up. In other words, the BSO has grown and matured hand-in hand with modern Beijing. With its high professional standards and deep passion for the art of music, the BSO has become a pacemaker for the rise and development of classical music in China.

In the 1990s, the BSO underwent significant reform and development under the direction of its principal conductor and music director, Maestro Tan Lihua. Under Maestro Tan, the BSO maintains an energetic, high level, creative schedule, with 90 -100 annual performances, at home and abroad.

In addition to its regular schedule of concerts conducted by Maestro Tan, the BSO has also collaborated with an impressive list of guest artists (conductors, soloists and vocalists) of the highest world renown. Maestro Tan Lihua has also taken part in a wide range of prestigious collaborations amongst others with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Today, the BSO’s roster of guest conductors and soloists include first-class maestros such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Evgeny Svetlanov and so on. Maestro Christoph Eschenbach was very impressed when he, for the first time, worked with BSO in 2012. Maestro Eschenbach stated: "The BSO is an orchestra of exceptional high professional quality. Their high level of musical understanding, their range, and the quality of their performance made a deep impression on me."

Over the past decade, the BSO has made international achievements at a level unattainable by most Chinese orchestras. In 2001, the BSO established its leadership role by becoming the first Chinese orchestra to embark on an international tour. The BSO has since been invited to perform in many countries, including Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Serbia, South Slovenia, and South Korea. The BSO completed six highly successful European tours in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012. Critics throughout Europe spoke highly of these tours. In Germany, for example, the Süddeutsche Zeitung praised the both excellence of the BSO’s performance as well as Maestro Tan's conducting. In October 2013, the Beijing Symphony Orchestra made a successful tour in Mexico and the United States and the concerts were well received by the audience. The Washington Post wrote an article under the title "Beijing Symphony plays Strathmore amid boom time for classical music in China". The BSO also assumes an important responsibility in developing and promoting Chinese symphonic music. For example, new works by Wang Xilin, Bao Yuankai, Huang Anlun, Xu Zhenmin, Guo Wenjing, and Zhou Long have all been premiered and performed by the BSO. By supporting contemporary Chinese composers, the BSO has contributed to and supported the development and reputation of over two hundred works in the Chinese symphonic repertoire—works that have been presented not only in China, but also worldwide. The BSO has established a relationship with the prestigious EMI recording company, having released eight new and impressive CDs worldwide since 2007.

The BSO maintains a deep commitment to music education and the popularization of classical and symphonic music. The BSO's outreach programs to universities, schools, communities, and factories have reached, enlightened and educated more than one million new listeners during the past 20 years.

Music Director / Principal Conductor : Lihua Tan

As one of China’s most notable conductors, Tan Lihua holds the post of the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent guest in many Chinese and international concert halls and has conducted a range of distinguished orchestras in Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Czech, France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Israel, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela and Panama. He was principal guest conductor at the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra from 2000/1 and has also been invited to conduct the London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He has collaborated with some of the most prestigious orchestras in China including the China National Symphony, the China Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestras.

He has debuted hundreds of new pieces composed by Chinese composers to audiences in China and throughout the world. Besides being a gifted interpreter of music written by Chinese Composers, Tan was also the first conductor who introduced a number of classical international pieces to Chinese audiences which included Dvorak’s Symphony No.7, Respighi’s symphonic poem Pina di Romas, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No.5.

In 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2013, he led the Beijing Symphony Orchestra to extensive tours in Europe and won critical acclaims from European media. In 2013, he was awarded the honor of Artistic Achievement by Dvořák Prague Festival committee. In 1997 he initiated Beijing’s New Year Concerts, now an integrated part of the city’s cultural calendar. For over a decade, Tan has become a key figure in planning and promoting these concerts as both music consultant and conductor.

In July of 2008, Tan Lihua worked with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra to complete the recording of the newly updated versions of the National Anthems and Olympic Hymn for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games. This monumental recording will be preserved as part of the cultural heritage of the Olympic Games.

"Tan Lihua interpreted Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique with his own creative way. He divided this masterpiece into five episodes, exquisitely displayed different emotion, excitement, annoyance, the thirst for love, suspicion, hatred and bitterness."

- Wolfsburger Kurier

"The Beijing Symphony Orchestra could not be called anything other than a world-class orchestra. This sizeable orchestra produced an impressive sound, with clear notes framed in a rigorous structure…"

- From a review out of Rosenheim, Germany