Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is the earliest and
the most well known
ensemble of its kind in Asia, through which the
Chinese symphonic music develops.
Originally known as the Shanghai Public Band,
it developed into an orchestra in 1907, and was
renamed the Shanghai Municipal Council Symphony
Orchestra in 1922. Notably under the baton of
the Italian conductor Mario Paci, the orchestra
promoted Western music and trained Chinese young
talents very early on in China, and introduced
the first Chinese orchestral work to the audience.
It is hence reputed as the “the best in
the Far East.” The history of Shanghai Symphony
Orchestra may be referred as the history of China’s
symphonic music development.
Spanning three different centuries, the Shanghai
Symphony has now embraced a
new era; it has held over ten thousand concerts,
including premiere performances of several thousand
musical works, and has collaborated with many
(conductors, soloists and vocalists) of world
renown. The orchestra has gained a
reputation as the most authoritative explainer
of Chinese symphonic compositions
while promoting them with every possible endeavor.
The Shanghai Symphony has
become increasingly influential both at home and
abroad, after most recently
completing the audio and video recordings of such
excellent music as: Zhu Jian’er’s
Symphonies, Tan Dun’s multimedia concerto
The Map, and music for the
prize-winning film (Oscar and Grammy Awards) Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Since the 1970s, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
has toured extensively
abroad. In 1990, the orchestra made its debut
at Carnegie Hall in New York; in 2003, it performed
in 11 cities in the US; in 2004, it toured Europe
to celebrate the Sino-French Cultural Year. The
Orchestra’s 125th Anniversary Celebration
Concert, given at the Berliner Philharmonie (the
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is the first Chinese
symphony orchestra to play in this hall), was
hailed as a great success.
Maestro Long Yu is currently Music Director of
the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra