|Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, China, 2017|
Tour Dates: 15th September - 30th September, 2017
As one of the oldest symphony orchestras in China, or even in Asia, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1879 as the Shanghai Public Band.
As one of the oldest symphony orchestras in China, or even in Asia, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) was founded in 1879 as the Shanghai Public Band. Later it was renamed the Municipal Council Symphony Orchestra and was once hailed as “the best in the Far East”. In 1919, when the renowned Italian pianist Mario Paci took podium, the orchestra started its performing history in association with well-known musicians from Europe and other countries. In 1956 the orchestra took the current name and gradually developed into a “cultural calling card” of Shanghai. Long Yu, the current Music Director, is the first Chinese conductor to have been invited to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the “Big Five” American symphony orchestras. He’s also the Chinese conductor with the most co-operations with top-notch orchestras all over the world.
Apart from artistic pursuits, the orchestra is also committed to the introduction of western music to local people. Since early 2009, the SSO has engaged in the series of “the Shanghai New Year Concert”. With the aim of “Introducing the maestros to Shanghai, and the city residents to maestros” and the working principle of “high standard, high disciplined and high sustainability”, the SSO invited maestros Riccardo Muti and Kurt Masur to conduct New Year Concerts in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Both concerts were broadcast live to the entire country via CCTV, OTV and Phoenix TV, offering an opportunity to the whole nation to enjoy the splendor of maestros and showcasing Shanghai’s cultural image.
It was a mission of the SSO to offer artistic education to local residents. The SSO Chamber Concert, the only weekly chamber concert project in Shanghai, launched in 1984 and regularized in 1991, has now hold more than 1000 events. In collaboration with the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and the Shanghai Education Center for Art and Technology, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra launched the MAP (Music Advancing Program) in 2010, giving interactive performances in a number of middle schools and universities.
Music Director: Long Yu
Long Yu, current Music Director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, is a preeminent Chinese conductor with an established international reputation. Long Yu also serves as Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival and the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Co-Director of the MISA Shanghai Summer Festival. While Long Yu’s vision and efforts continue to make the Beijing Music Festival the hub of musical life in China’s capital, he tours with his orchestras regularly in China and in major music cities throughout the world.
As a guest conductor, Long Yu has appeared with leading orchestras and opera companies worldwide including Orchestre de Paris, Hamburg State Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Munich Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic and Singapore Symphony. In the future seasons he will make his debuts with NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Montreal Symphony.
Long Yu’s career has included both artistic and administrative appointments. In 1992, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing and involved in the planning of the Chinese New Year’s Concert series later that year and served as its conductor for three consecutive years. He created opera productions for The Urban Council of Hong Kong for five successive years. In 1998, he led the creation of the Beijing Music Festival and has been its Artistic Director ever since. Under his leadership the Beijing Music Festival is regarded as one of the world’s most important music festivals. In 2005, with the provincial government’s support, he built up the Canton International Summer Music Academy (CISMA) and became its Chairman for the following three years. He also established the MISA Shanghai Summer Music Festival in 2010 and later that year, the Canton Asian Music Festival. Born in 1964 into a music family in Shanghai, Long Yu received his early musical education from his grandfather Ding Shande, a composer of great renown, and went on to study at the Shanghai Conservatory and the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin. He was the recipient of the 2002 Arts Patronage Award of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation. He also has been awarded the Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2003, the title of L’sonorificenza di commendatore by President Berlusconi in 2005 for his outstanding contribution in the field of music and culture. In 2010, Long Yu received an Honorary Academician from the Central Conservatory of Beijing for his great dedication on cultural exchanging and music development in China.