Zhang Yi Deputy Director, Music Director and Chief Conductor of the National Ballet of China
Learning to play the violin at the age of five, Zhang Yi entered the elementary school affiliated to Central Conservatory of Music in 1983, and was later recommended to study conducting at the university in 1990. His studies were under the guidance of Professor Xu Xin and Professor Ji Ruikai. From 2000 to 2003 he studied in the graduate course for conducting with Prof. Max Prommer, the renowned German conductor in the Saarbrucken Musikhochschule.
As an influential young conductor in present China, Zhan Yi has conducted hundreds of concerts, opera, ballet works and recoded CDs. Since 1994, he has been invited to be guest conductor with China National Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Macau Symphony Orchestra, Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, China Traditional Instrument Orchestra, National Ballet of China, China National Opera House, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Symphonitta Orchestra, Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cuba Symphony Orchestra, Kungliga Operan, Orchestra Colonne of Paris, etc.
Zhang Yi has performed in Europe, America, Australia and Asian countries. He has also collaborated with numerous artists including Emmanuel Pahud, Wenael Fuchs, Renaud Capucon, Myung Wha Chung, Lang Lang, Chen Sa and Ning Feng etc. During his tour in Malaysia Zhang Yi received great acclaim in local news media with personal recognition from King and Queen of Malaysia.
In May 2001, Zhang Yi conducted the world premiere of the ballet Raise the Red Lantern in Beijing which was composed by Chen Qigang and directed by Zhang Yimou.
In January 2002, he conducted for the recording of Ye Xiaogang's symphony works New Music from China with Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra, which was published by Wergo (Germany).
In April 2004, he led the National Symphony Orchestra to participate in the Spring International Arts Festival in Pyongyang, North Korea.
In September 2005, he led the Lanzhou Opera House Symphony Orchestra to present a concert in Sydney Opera House, Australia.
In May 2006, he collaborated with Cuba Symphony Orchestra to present a concert as the opening of Cuba Arts Festival.
In 2007 and 2008, he led the Lanzhou Opera House Symphony Orchestra to The Golden Hall of Vienna and Palais des Congrès de Paris to present concerts and the opera A Big Dream of Dunhuang.
In July 2007, he participated in the performance of celebrating the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong coming back to China.
In June, 2008, he conducted the tour performance of Royal Swedish Ballet in China.
In 2008, he conducted for the recording of most musical pieces for the opening ceremony of 2008 Olympic Games, including the song You and Me.
In July 2008, touring with the National Ballet of China he performed at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London.
In January 2009, as the conductor of the company he collaborated with Orchestra Colonne for the company’s performance at Opera National de Paris.
In February 2010, he collaborated with Kungliga Operan in Stockholm.
In April 2012, he successfully conducted the premiere of Mass in C Minor by Mozart with Macau Symphony Orchestra in Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Macao.
As a conductor, Zhang Yi has been fond of modern music and conducted many premieres of works by modern composers. In May 2012, he was given the award of Outstanding Contribution at the Beijing Modern Music Festival for his numerous performances of Chinese and western modern music pieces.
Kristjan Jarvi Kristjan Jarvi has forged a career that couples his international reputation as an insightful, articulate conductor with his unique sensibility and genuine love for music. Jarvi is renowned worldwide for inventive programming, brave collaborations and cross-cultural/cross-genre repertoire. An entrepreneur by nature and a passionate educator and philanthropist, Jarvi leads both the oldest Radio Orchestra in Europe and the newest Youth Orchestra.
Kristjan Jarvi holds four principle engagements, including Music Director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra (beginning 2012-13 season); Chief Conductor Gstaad Festival Orchestra (GFO); Founder and Music Director Absolute Ensemble; and Founding Conductor Baltic Youth Philharmonic (BYP). He is also the Artistic Advisor to Basel Chamber Orchestra. Jarvi has previously held Music Director posts in Vienna and Sweden.
Jarvi maintains a similar relationship with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and in 2012-13 is resident with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and both the BYP and MDR at the newly built Danish Radio Concert Hall. In October 2012 he had his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kristjan has ongoing guest conducting engagements with the following orchestras: London Symphony Orchestra (with whom he performs regularaly and exclusively in London and has toured the USA, Europe and Asia), Staatskapelle Dresden, Bayerische Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Rome, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington D.C), the Minnesota Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and NHK Symphony Japan.
As a recording artist Jarvi has more than 30 albums to his credit. He has been honored with a Swedish Grammy for "Best Opera Performance", German Record Critics Prize for "Best Album", a Grammy nomination and a BBC Record Award nomination. Kristjan Jarvi records exclusively for SONY, releasing two albums this season on the label- "Carmina Burana" and "Cloud Atlas Symphony", both with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. The Cloud Atlas Symphony marks Kristjan's continued work in film music, having recorded the soundtrack the Hollywood film Cloud Atlas with MDR.
"Cloud Atlas Symphony" by Gene Pritsker was commissioned by the MDR and adds to a body of more than one hundred new works for which Kristjan has actively sought the commission. Kristjan Jarvi has worked with many of the most esteemed composers of our time, and has commissioned and collaborated with diverse artists including Arvo Part, Tan Dun, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, H.K Gruber, Renee Fleming, Joe Zawinul, Goran Bregovic, Paquito d'Rivera, Eitetsu Hayashi, Marcel Khalife and Benny Anderson.
Founded in 2008, Baltic Youth Philharmonic has quickly been embraced by the international community as both an important education body and a symbol of peace and unity in a previously volatile region. As founding conductor, Kristjan Jarvi has led the Ensemble on tours throughout Europe and secured significant support through a board of trustees that includes former German chancellor Schroeder, Valery Gergiev, Kurt Masur, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marek Janowski and Mariss Jansons. The BYP has become a vibrant hub for education and performance, musically uniting students across the region.
Kristjan Jarvi is committed to music education and in addition to his work with BYP has founded the Absolute Academy at the Bremen University for Music and Arts and the Muusikaselts Music education project in remote Estonian orphanages (now a national initiative). He has worked with dozens of youth organizations and in 2011 was a Judge at the first Beijing International Composers Competition in China.
Robin Holloway Composer Robin Holloway sang as a chorister at St Paul's Cathedral and studied composition with Alexander Goehr as a teenager. He was a lecturer in music at Cambridge University for 32 years between 1975 and 2011, teaching a generation of composers including Judith Weir and Thomas Adés.
His works of the 1960s show a modernist stance, culminating in the First Concerto for Orchestra (completed 1969). This attitude has remained one strand of Holloway's thought as demonstrated by such works as Evening with Angels (1972), the much acclaimed Second Concerto for Orchestra (1979), and two works written for the London Sinfonietta, Aria (1979-80) and the Double Concerto (1987-88).
A complementary and more controversial side of Holloway's musical nature grew out of his study of language, style and quotation for his doctoral thesis Debussy and Wagner (published by Eulenburg). This has led in many works to a radical liaison with Romanticism and tonality, as in Scenes from Schumann (1969-70), the opera Clarissa (1976) premiered in 1990 at English National Opera under the baton of Oliver Knussen, and Seascape and Harvest (1983-4) composed for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle. A more relaxed side of the same endeavour can be seen in a series of serenade and divertimento-type pieces for differing chamber ensembles.
The Holloway discography includes premiere recordings of the Second and Third Concertos for Orchestra on NMC, the former winning the 1994 Gramophone Contemporary Record of the Year Award, the Violin Concerto and Horn Concerto played by Ernst Kovacic and Barry Tuckwell (recently re-released on the NMC label), and a CD reissue of Sea surface full of clouds and Romanza on Chandos, Hyperion released Holloway’s Fantasy Pieces and Serenade in C played by the Nash Ensemble, and Gilded Goldbergs. Two volumes of Holloway's collected writings, Essays and Diversions, were published in 2003 and 2008.
Works composed during the 1990s included Scenes from Antwerp written as the culmination of a residency with the Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Clarissa Sequence for soprano and orchestra commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas, and his first Symphony, premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles at the 2000 BBC Proms. Holloway's 2002 orchestration of Debussy's En blanc et noir has proved successful with frequent international performances. Recent works include a Fourth Concerto for Orchestra premiered by the San Francisco Symphony under Tilson Thomas in 2007, RELIQUARY, incorporating music by Schumann for the 2010 BBC Proms, and a Fifth Concerto for Orchestra premiered at the BBC Proms under the baton of Donald Runnicles in 2011.
Kalevi Aho Composer Kalevi Aho (born 9 March 1949) studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under Einojuhani Rautavaara, gaining his diploma in 1971, and continued his studies with Boris Blacher in Berlin. In 1974-1988 he was lecturer in musicology at Helsinki University, and in 1988-1993 professor of composition at the Sibelius Academy. Since then he has been a freelance composer.
Aho entered the limelight in the early 1970s and soon established his position as one of the leading Finnish composers. He is Finland's most prominent living composer of symphonies. The latest of them include the large-scale Symphony No. 12 designed for outdoor purposes, Symphony No. 13, Symphony No. 14 for darabuka, djembe, gongs and chamber orchestra and Symphony No. 15 commissioned by the BBC Philharmonic and Lahti Symphony in and premiered in 2011 in London. Aho has also composed five operas. The Key (premiered in Helsinki in 1979 and staged also at the Hamburg State Opera in 1982 and 1984), Insect Life (premiered at the Finnish National Opera in 1996), The Book of Secrets (premiered at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 2000) and Before We All Have Drowned, which has been staged at the Finnish National Opera and at the Lübeck Theatre in Germany. Aho’s latest opera Frida and Diego is a commission from the Sibelius Academy to be premiered in 2014
Kalevi Aho has composed an impressive number of concertos for almost all orchestral instruments. The most popular them are the concertos for flute and clarinet. His opus list includes also solo concertos for such instruments as the contrabassoon and the tuba. Aho has also produced several orchestral arrangements, the most notable of them being Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death for bass voice and orchestra. He has also written chamber and instrumental music ranging from various quintets to solo works.
In 1992 the Lahti Symphony Orchestra appointed Aho as its composer in residence. His complete oeuvre is being recorded on the BIS label.
Over the past couple of decades Kalevi Aho has held several positions of trust in Finnish musical life. He is also a prolific writer on themes such as Finnish music, the aesthetics of music, and the composer's status in society.
Sebastian Currier Composer Sebastian Currier is the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award. Heralded as 'music with a distinctive voice' by the New York Times and as 'lyrical, colorful, firmly rooted in tradition, but absolutely new' by the Washington Post, his music has been performed at major venues worldwide by acclaimed artists and orchestras.
His music has been enthusiastically embraced by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, for whom he wrote Aftersong, which she performed extensively in the US and Europe, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Symphony Hall in Boston, the Barbican in London, and the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. A critic from The Times (UK) said, 'If all his pieces are as emotionally charged and ingenious in their use of rethought tonality as this, give me more.' His violin concerto, Time Machines, dedicated to Ms. Mutter, was premiered by the New York Philharmonic in June 2011, and called 'rapturously beautiful' by the New York Times. A work for chorus and orchestra, Sleepers and Dreamers, was premiered at the 2012 Grant Park Music Festival in honor of the 50th anniversary of the festival's chorus. New works to be premiered during the 2012–13 season include Deep-Sky Objects, for soprano and ensemble; Fifteen Minutes, for flute, harp, and viola;and Quanta, for orchestra.
His chamber music was presented by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2007 and 2008, including three world premieres. In December 2009 he returned to Berlin again for the premiere of his harp concerto Traces, which was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic and performed by harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet under the baton of Donald Runnicles.
His Microsymph, referred to by the composer as a large-scale symphony that has been squeezed into only ten minutes, was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra and premiered at Carnegie Hall. It has also been performed by such orchestras as the San Francisco Symphony, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Eos Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra, and has been recorded by the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra with Hugh Wolff, conductor.
He has also written works that involve electronic media and video. Next Atlantis features a dialogue between string orchestra and pre-recorded sounds of water, evoking the infamous lost city, and was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie hall in 2010. Nightmaze, a multimedia piece based on a text of Thomas Bolt in which the protagonist dreams he is rushing along a dark, enormous highway, where strange road signs loom up only to disappear into the night, has been performed by Network for New Music and the Mosaic Ensemble. The Philadelphia Inquirer said 'every turn is breathtaking' and the New York Times, 'Currier's rich and imaginative music sets the right tone, with its fractured and dissonant baroque-like gestures leading off like highway exits into the void and hinting at distant reservoirs of emotion and yearning.'
Recordings include his violin concerto Time Machines with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic on Deutsche Grammophon, Next Atlantis with the Ying Quartet on Naxos, and 'On the Verge' from Music from Copland House, featuring his Grawemeyer Award-winning Static, and other chamber works. His 'Quartetset/Quiet Time' album, recorded by the Cassatt Quartet, says Anne Midgette for the New York Times, '...distances the present from the past, causing the listener to think about music itself.'
He has received many prestigious awards including the Berlin Prize, Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has held residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies. He received a DMA from the Juilliard School; and from 1999-2007 he taught at Columbia University.
Sebastian Currier is published by Boosey & Hawkes.
Augusta Read Thomas Composer Augusta Read Thomas' deeply personal music is guided by her particular sense of musical form, rhythm, timbre, and harmony. But given this individuality, her music is affected by history - in Thomas' words, 'Old music deserves new music and new music needs old music.' For Thomas, this means cherishing her place within the musical tradition and giving credit to those who have forged the musical paths she follows and from which she innovates. Thomas was the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from May 1997 through June 2006, a residency that encompassed nine world premieres, culminating in the premiere of Astral Canticle - one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
The music of Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964) is majestic, it is elegant, it is lyrical, it is 'boldly considered music that celebrates the sound of the instruments and reaffirms the vitality of orchestral music' (Philadelphia Inquirer). Her deeply personal music is guided by her particular sense of musical form, rhythm, timbre, and harmony. But given this individuality, her music is affected by history — in Thomas's words, 'Old music deserves new music and new music needs old music.' For Thomas, this means cherishing her place within the musical tradition and giving credit to those who have forged the musical paths she follows and from which she innovates. 'You can hear the perfumes of my metaphorical grandparents,' Thomas states. 'There is a wonderful tradition that I adore, I understand, and care about, but I have my two feet facing forward.' Thomas's vision toward the future, her understanding of the present, and her respect for the past is evident in her art. Most striking in her music, though, is its exquisite humanity and poetry of the soul. The notion that music takes over where words cease is hardly more true than in her musical voice.
Born in Glen Cove, New York, Thomas was appointed a University Professor of Composition at the University of Chicago in 2011. Additionally, she was the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from May 1997 through June 2006, a residency that culminated in the premiere of Astral Canticle — one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music. During her residency with the CSO, under the direction of Daniel Barenboim, Thomas not only premiered nine commissioned works, but also founded, along with Cliff Colnot, and curated the MusicNOW series. In addition to Barenboim, Thomas's music has been championed by other leading conductors including Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Oliver Knussen, Seiji Ozawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Christoph Eschenbach, Ludovic Morlot and Xian Zhang. As well, her music has been commissioned by leading ensembles and organizations around the world including: Chanticleer — Love Songs; NDR (German Radio) Orchestra — Chanting to Paradise; Cleveland Orchestra — Song in Sorrow; Chicago Symphony — Orbital Beacons, Aurora, In My Sky At Twilight, Ceremonial, Carillon Sky, Words of the Sea, Trainwork, Tangle, and Astral Canticle; Pittsburgh Symphony — Prayer Bells; La Jolla Chamber Music Society — Bells Ring Summer; National Symphony — Cello Concerto, Galaxy Dances; Radio France and the BBC Orchestra — Violin Concerto; Dallas Symphony — Helios Choros I; London Symphony and Boston Symphony — Helios Choros II; Orchestre de Paris — Helios Choros III; BBC — Pulsar; Utah Symphony — Terpsichore's Dream; Los Angeles Philharmonic — Canticle Weaving; and ASCAP Foundation — Cantos for Slava. From 2009 to 2011, Augusta is the MUSICALIVE Composer-in-Residence with the New Haven Symphony. MUSICALIVE is a national residency program of The League of American Orchestras and Meet the Composer.
From 1993-2001, Thomas was an assistant professor, then associate professor of composition at the Eastman School of Music, and from 2001 until 2006 she was the Wyatt Professor of Music at Northwestern University. Having resigned from her teaching position in order to fully devote herself to composition, starting in July 2006, she continues her involvement with Northwestern University by serving actively on the Dean's Music Advisory Board. In 2007-2008, Thomas is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Music in the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. Frequently, Thomas undertakes short-term residencies in colleges, universities, and festivals across the country and in Europe.
Thomas studied composition with Jacob Druckman at Yale University, with Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern University, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University (1991-94) and a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College (1990-91), and often teaches composition at Tanglewood. Thomas has also been on the Board of Directors of the American Music Center since 2000, as well as on the boards and advisory boards of several chamber music groups. Recently she was elected Chair of the Board of the American Music Center, a volunteer position that runs from 2005 to 2008.
In addition to the numerous commercial recordings of her music available on major record labels, Thomas has released five of her own albums independently.
Her music is published exclusively by G. Schirmer.
Michael Gordon Composer Michael Gordon's music merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power embodying, in the words of The New Yorker's Alex Ross, 'the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism.'
Over the past 25 years, Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles to major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio. Transcending categorization, this music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.
Deeply passionate about the sonic potential of the traditional orchestra, Gordon's orchestral works include Rewriting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, a radical reworking of the original, commissioned by the 2006 Beethoven Festival in Bonn and premiered by Jonathon Nott and the Bamberger Symphony; and Sunshine of your Love, written for over 100 instruments divided into four microtonally tuned groups. Under the baton of composer/conductor John Adams, The Ensemble Modern Orchestra toured Sunshine of your Love to seven European capitals in 1999. Gordon's string orchestra piece Weather was commissioned by the Siemens Foundation Kultur Program, and after its tour was recorded and released on Nonesuch to great critical and popular success. His interest in exploring various sound textures has led him to create chamber works that distort traditional classical instruments with electronic effects and guitar pedals, including Potassium for the Kronos Quartet and Industry for cellist Maya Beiser. Also for Kronos, The Sad Park, written in 2006, uses the voices of child witnesses to September 11th as its subject. Gordon's monumental, 52-minute Trance, originally written for the UK-based group Icebreaker, was debuted in 1997 and recently performed twice in New York City by the ensemble Signal.
Michael Gordon's special interest in adding dimensionality to the traditional concert experience has led to numerous collaborations with artists in other media, most frequently with filmmaker Bill Morrison and Ridge Theater. In Decasia, a commission from Europaischer Musikmonat for the Basel Sinfonietta, the audience is encircled by the orchestra and large projections. A large-scale, single-movement, relentlessly monumental work about decay — the decay of melody, tuning, and classical music itself — Decasia has become a cult favorite since its premiere in 2001, frequently performed at music festivals, art museums and film festivals around the world. Gordon and Morrison's works together also include two film symphonies centered on cities: Dystopia (about Los Angeles) in 2008 for David Robertson and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Gotham (about New York City) in 2004 for the American Composers Orchestra.
Works for theater and opera include What To Wear, a collaboration with director Richard Foreman, which premiered at the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles; Acquanetta, about the 1940s B-Movie starlet for Oper Aachen; Lost Objects, an oratorio for baroque orchestra in collaboration with David Lang, Julia Wolfe and director Francois Girard, which was seen at the 2004 Next Wave Festival at BAM; and Van Gogh, vocal settings from the letters of Vincent Van Gogh, recorded by Alarm Will Sound. Most recently, Gordon again collaborated with Ridge Theater on the multi-performer song cycle lightning at our feet, co-commissioned by Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston and the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the 2008 Next Wave Festival. lightning at our feet straddles arts media, giving Dickinson's poetry mobility in music while encompassing her words in a world of visual imagery.
Gordon's music has been featured prominently in the dance works of Emio Greco | PC, Wayne McGregor (for Stuttgart Ballet, Random Dance), Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal, Heinz Spoerli (for Zürich Ballet), Ashley Page (for The Royal Ballet and The Scottish Ballet) and Club Guy & Roni, who co-commissioned Gordon's percussion sextet Timber, along with the percussion ensembles Slagwerk Den Haag and Mantra Percussion. This work, an evening-length tour de force for six 2x4s, toured with dance throughout 2009/2010 and was premiered in its concert-version in June 2011. The full percussion sextet was released on Cantaloupe Records in 2011.
Gordon has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Settembre Musica, the Holland Music Festival, the Dresden Festival and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, among others. His music has been performed at the Kennedy Center, Theatre De La Ville, Barbican Centre, Oper Bonn, K？lner Philharmonie and the Southbank Centre. The recipient of multiple awards and grants, Gordon has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His recordings include Timber (Cantaloupe), Weather (Nonesuch), Light is Calling (Nonesuch), Decasia (Cantaloupe), (purgatorio) POPOPERA (Cantaloupe), Van Gogh (Cantaloupe), Trance (Argo/Cantaloupe), and Big Noise from Nicaragua (CRI). Formed in 1983 as The Michael Gordon Philharmonic and renamed The Michael Gordon Band in 2000, Gordon's own ensemble performed across Europe and the United States at venues as diverse as Alice Tully Hall and the punk mecca CBGB, on the Contemporary Music Network Tour and at the Almeida Festival in London.
Born in Miami Beach in 1956, Gordon holds a Bachelor of Arts from New York University and a Masters of Music from the Yale School of Music. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can.
His music is published by Red Poppy Music (ASCAP) and is distributed worldwide by G. Schirmer, Inc.
China NCPA Concert Hall Orchestra China NCPA Orchestra was established in March 2010. As the orchestra in residence of the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China, the orchestra performs regularly in NCPA's busy schedule of operas, ballets and concerts to great acclaim. Maestro Lu Jia is the orchestra's Principal Conductor. One of the founders of the orchestra, NCPA's Music Artistic Director, Maestro Chen Zuohuang is honored as the orchestra's Laureate Conductor. The orchestra also engages Singaporean conductor Joshua Kang Ming Tan as the Resident Conductor. The orchestra performs more than a dozen operas and ballets every year, together with about 30 symphonic concerts by the name of China NCPA Concert Hall Orchestra.
China NCPA Orchestra keeps an international standard for its arts quality and management. The musicians are from various countries and regions, and most of them have experience from working or studying in Europe or North America. Many artists have worked with this orchestra, including Maestro Lorin Maazel, Maestro Christoph Eschenbach, and soloists such as Stephen Kovacevich, Wang Yuja, Han-Na Chang, Leo Nucci, etc. Maestro Lorin Maazel has appeared with the orchestra in several operas and concerts, in his view it is 'an excellent, hard-working orchestra with great passion.' The orchestra keeps close working relationships with Maestro Maazel and Maestro Eschenbach.
In 2011, China NCPA Orchestra has won acclaim for its performances in NCPA's new productions of Tosca, The Barber of Seville, Die Fledermaus, and a newly composed opera The Chinese Orphan. At the same time, the orchestra was also deeply involved in NCPA's 2011 Gustav Mahler Cycle. Under the batons of maestros including Christoph Eschenbach, Yoel Levi and Jun Maerkl, the orchestra performed Mahler's Symphonies No. 1, 2, 3, 8 and 10. In this year the orchestra has also performed two concerts of contemporary music, with works from Takemitsu, Giya Kancheli, and a group of young Chinese composers. Mr. Kancheli himself attended the concert featuring his work.
Devoted to educational and outreach activities, China NCPA Orchestra has presented a series of Weekend Matinee Concerts since its establishment. With specially selected repertoire, performances of high quality and extremely low ticket prices, these concerts have won great acclaim from both audience and critics.
In 2012, China NCPA Orchestra will perform in NCPA's productions of The Flying Dutchman and Lohengrin. A notable list of artists including Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Roger Norrington, Yan Pascal Tortelier, and Rudolf Buchbinder will perform with the orchestra for the first time, and Maestro Christoph Eschenbach will also return to give multiple concerts. Various tours are also under preparation currently.
NCPA aims to build a world-class orchestra with operation and management conforming to global practices while incorporating Chinese characteristics.