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China Philharmonic Orchestra
2004/06/09


The China Philharmonic Orchestra was founded on May 25,2000, on the basis of the former China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and under the auspices of China Radio, Film and Television Group, as a national level orchestra. Long Yu is current artistic director and principal conductor.

The China Philharmonic Orchestra’s predecessor, the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra was one of the first symphony orchestras to be founded in China after 1949,and has collaborated with same world class conductors, instrumentalists and singers including Yo-Yo Ma. In the years following its founding, the CBSO gave concerts in cities all over China, and built up an impressive repertoire that included works by Chinese and western composers. The CBSO also toured to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Its performances were highly acclaimed by both the public and professional critics.

The founding of the CPO on the basis of the CBSO was a major event in China’s musical development, and marked both the beginning of a new chapter in the history of symphonic music in China and start of China’s increasingly active role in the performance of western classical music.
In line with standard world practice, the CPO finds its players by engaging outstanding musicians from China and other parts of the world. The CPO’s unswerving commitment to player quality means that it now ranks among the largest and most promising orchestra on Asia.

The CPO’s seasons are planned so as to establish extensive collaborative relationships with world-famous conductors and soloists. Under the guidance of its artistic director, the CPO aims to introduce the gems of China’s symphonic music to the world and best offered by the western musical heritage to Chinese audiences. The CPO also attaches great importance to innovation and creativity.

On December 16,2000, the China Philharmonic Orchestra gave a highly acclaimed inaugural concert in Beijing under the baton of its artistic Director, Long Yu. The CPO’s first season ran from September 2001 to July 2002,including which t offered a rich repertoire of works from different periods and styles. Among the highlights was the world premier of the Philip Glass Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, and performances of Gustav Mahler’s Das lied von der Erde, Hector Berlioz’s La Damnation de Foust, and Du Mingxin’s Symphonic Peking Opera Female Generals from Yang Family, composed specially for CPO. Among its 2002-2003 season’s highlights are the historic PRC premier of one of the largest works in the orchestra literature-Mahler’s Symphony No.8,”Symphony of a Thousand”, featuring massed musicians under the inspiring leading of maestro Long Yu, and “the Immortal Beethoven” Series with all the symphonies and concertos of the composer. The 2003-2004 season will see the completion of the orchestra’s Mahler symphony cycle that is throughout three seasons. In 2004, the CPOwill honor the anniversary of Dvorak’s death with performance of his Stabat Mater and major orchestra works.

The CPO attracted attention from overseas soon after its first performance. In September 2001, it toured  Taipei, Hsinchu, Raichung,and Kaaohsiung, the major cities of Taiwan. At the invitation of the Casals Festival, the CPO visited San Juan and Puerto Rico in June 2002. The two performances, conducted respectively by Long Yu and Krzysztof Penderecki, its principal guest conductor, proved to be a great success and a major event of the festival. Equally impressive were the two concerts that the CPO gave in Cupatina and Los Angeles, USA, following its Puetro Rico tour. In September 2002, the CPO made a successful tour of Japan and Korea. In 2003, the orchestra is to make its first European tour, appearing at Palais Garnier, Paris, National Opera Warsaw and Grober Musikvereinssaal,Vienna.

The CPO has collaborated with many renowned musicians, including Mikhail Pletnev, Anatal Ugorski, Gerhad Oppitz, Yundi li, Lang Lang, Itzhak Perlman, Kyako Takezawa, Cho-Liang Lin, Xue Wei, Gehord Poulet, Jian Wang, Julian Lloyd Webber, Placido Domingo, Cheryl Studer, Changyong Liao, Sergiu Comissiona, Okko Kamu, Klaus Weise, Muhai Tang, Lan Shui and En Shao.

The CPO recorded two compact discs for Doutsche Grammophon under Long Yu’s direction, one of Wanger’s Tannhauser Overture and the Schoenberg orchestration of the Brahms Piano Quarter in G Minor, the other of Chinese orchestra works.

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