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Back to CalendarChina Philharmonic with Yuja Wang
Presented by Strathmore
Friday, March 11, 2005 at 8:00 PM
Music Center at Strathmore

The China Philharmonic, founded
in May 2000, makes its Washington
area premiere on its first world tour.
Established on the basis of the former
China Broadcasting Symphony
Orchestra and under the auspices of
China Radio, Film and Television
Group, the China Philharmonic has
emerged as a national level orchestra
with 120 musicians. Long Yu is
its current artistic director and
principal conductor.
The CPO’s predecessor, the China
Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra
(CBSO), was one of the first symphony
orchestras to be founded in China
after 1949, and has collaborated with
many world class conductors, instrumentalists,
and singers. In the years
following its founding, the CBSO gave
concerts in cities all over China, and
built an impressive repertoire that
included works by Chinese and
Western composers.
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,
during which it offered a repertoire of
works from different periods and styles.
Among the highlights were the world
premiere of the Philip Glass Concerto
for Cello and Orchestra, and performances
of Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von
der Erde and Symphony of a Thousand (a
PRC premiere), Hector Berlioz’s La
Damniation de Faust, and Du Mingxin’s
Symphonic Peking Opera Female
Generals from Yang Family, composed
for the CPO. The CPO attracted
attention from overseas soon after its
first performances. In September 2001,
the CPO toured Taipei, Hsinchu,
Taichung, and Kaohsiung, the major
cities of Taiwan. At the invitation of
the Casals Festival, the CPO visited
San Juan, Puerto Rico in June 2002.
The two performances, conducted
respectively by Long Yu and
Krzystof Penderecki, its principal guest
conductor, proved to be a great success
and one of the major events of the
festival. Equally impressive were the
two concerts that the CPO gave in San
Jose and Los Angeles, CA, following
the tour of Puerto Rico. In September
2002, the CPO made a successful tour
of Japan and Korea.
Under the guidance of Mr. Yu, the
current China Philharmonic aims to
introduce the gems of China’s symphonic
music to the world and the best
offered by the western musical heritage
to Chinese audiences. The Philharmonic
has collaborated with many worldrenowned
musicians, including
Mikhail Plentev, Anatol Ugorski, Yundi
Li, Lang Lang, Itzhak Perlman, Placido
Domingo, and Sergiu Commissiona.
The orchestra has recorded two CDs
for Deutsche Gramophone under Long
Yu’s direction—one of Wagner and
Brahms, and another of Chinese
orchestral works.

Yuja Wang was born in Beijing in
1987. A former student of the Central
Conservatory of Music, Beijing,
she studied with Professors Ling
Yuan and Zhou Guangren. Yuja Wang’s debut CD was released in 1995. She has received critical
acclaim in the press and from the
music community wherever she has performed. When she visited Australia in 1996, her performances were highly praised and the musical community
was stunned by the maturity shown by
the then tiny eight-year-old. In 1998,
the German press praised her poetic
interpretation of Liszt’s La Leggierezza.
World-renowned pianists Vladimir
Ashkenazy and Fou Ts’ong have highly
commended her playing. Fou Ts’ong
declared her playing “miraculous.”
Yuja has been a frequent prizewinner in
national and international competitions,
including first prize in the
Huapu Cup National Piano Competition,
the First “Mido” Concours De
Tiano Sino-Francais, the Xinghai Cup
National Piano Competition, and the
Veo Internacional Primer Premio in
Spain, as well as the third prize in
Eglington International Piano Competition
in Germany. She was first prizewinner
of the Junior Group of the
Seiler International Piano Competition
(May 2001) and third prize-winner
and recipient of the Special Jury Award
at the First Japan Sendai International
Music Competition (where she was the
youngest of all competitors).
As an active performer, Yuja Wang
has given recitals in Beijing, Zhuhai,
Shijizhuang, Harbin, and Urmuqi in
China. In November 2000 she took
part in the special concert “Dialogues
Between Two Generations of Musical
Talents,” where she shared the stage
with Maestro Xu Zhong, Jian Wang
and Hu Kun. In May 2002, Yuja was a
featured performer in the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation’s “Up and
Coming” series hosted by noted
Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker.
She attended three Morningside Music
Bridge summer programs (1999-2001)
at Calgary’s Mount Royal College. In
the summers of 2002 and 2003, she
studied with renowned piano
pedagogue John Perry at the Aspen
Music Festival, where she won the
Concerto Competition in her first
year of attendance.
For the past two years, Yuja has
attended The Curtis Institute of
Music in Philadelphia, where she is a
student of Gary Graffman. In March
2004, she was selected as one of the
four participants in Leon Fleisher’s
Carnegie Hall masterclasses on the late
Schubert Sonatas.
Yuja’s recent performances include
the Young Musician’s Forum in New
York, the Seattle Chamber Music
Society Emerging Artist Concert,
and a performance in Zurich of
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4
with Maestro David Zinman and the
Tonhalle Orchestra.

Long Yu is a Chinese conductor with an established international reputation. As a
guest conductor, Mr. Yu regularly
appears with orchestras in Germany,
France, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland and
Singapore. Over the years, Mr. Yu
has worked with a variety of groups,
including the Hamburg Sate Opera,
Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin,
The Radio Symphony Orchestra of
Leipzig, Academy of St. Martin
in the Fields, the Budapest Radio
Symphony Orchestra, and the Hong
Kong Philharmonic. Born in Shanghai in 1964 into a family of musicians, he received his
early music education from his
grandfather, the composer Ding
Shande. This prepared him for the
rigorous formal music education he
encountered at the Shanghai Music
Conservatory and then at Hochschule
der Kunst in Berlin. His professional achievements include an appointment as principal
conductor of the Central Opera of
China in 1992, founder of the Beijing
Music Festival in 1998, and founder
and artistic director of the China
Philharmonic in 2000. As an artist and administrator, Mr. Yu’s mission is to develop the CPO as a world-class professional institution
through extensive collaboration with
top musicians from all over the world.His vision for the CPO is the creation
of a truly professional orchestra that
can bring the best of China’s symphonic
music to the world and offer high
quality performances of a wide variety
of western classical music to Chinese
people. Long Yu’s other achievements
include recording Korngold’s Violin
Concerto and Ding Shande’s Long
March Symphony for NAXOS with the
Slovak Radio Orchestra. In November
2000, he recorded two CD’s for DG
with the CPO, one of Wagner’s Overture
to Tannhäuser and the Shoenberg
orchestration of the Brahms Piano
Quartet in G minor, the other, of
highlights of Chinese music.

Ms. Ke has performed in Madama
Butterfly directed by Seiji Ozawa. She
has sung the roles of Violetta in La
Traviata, Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte,
and Servillia in La Clemeza Di Titto.
She has participated in many performances
sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and CCTV including the Spring Festival Party, the Lantern
Festival Party, and the New Year’s Day
Bilingual Party. She has also performed
in the Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Party
in 2003. Ms. Ke completed her undergraduate
and graduate training at the Opera Department of the Central Music Academy. She studied with Professor Guo Shuzhen, a well-known soprano
and vocal music educator, Professor Zhao Bixuan and Professor Marina. She performed in the world premiere of the symphony Dielianhua by Chinese-
French musician Chen Qigang in France, as well as the premiere at the Shanghai International Music Festival and the Beijing International
Music Festival. She has received the New Star Prize in the Second World Chinese Vocal
Music Competition, the Honorary Prize in the Second International Vocal Music Competition in Beijing, and the Silver Cup in the Dahongying International Vocal Music Competition for
New Stars and New Works in 2003.

Regarded as one of the most influential
composers in China. Vice Chairman of
Chinese Musicians’ Association, Professor
and director of the composition
department of Central Conservatory of
Music, composer in residence of the
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and
board member of Chinese Music Copyright Association, and national member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Born into a musical family, Ye began
studing piano with his father at age of
four and was transferred to work in the
countryside after graduation from high
school during Cultural Revolution.
Finishing six-years of benchwork in a
factory, he was enrolled into the
Central Conservatory of Music and
studied composition with Du Mingxin.
Ye studied in Alexander Goehr’s class
in 1980, and received a full scholarship
from the Eastman School of Music
in U.S. in 1987 to further his studies
in composition with Dr. Samuel
Adler, Dr. Joseph Schwantner and
Louis Andriessen. Since 1983, Ye has received numerous national and international awards
and commissions, and has participated
in many international artistic activities,
including five Dance Dramas (Dalai VI,
The Snow is Red, When the Dream
Fades, Shenzhen Story, Macao Bride);
Chamber Music (Threnody, Ballade,
Tribasic, Marginalia, Nine Run, Nine
Horses, Enchanted Bamboo, Woody
Spring, Lotus Flower, Eight Horses and
Wa); Orchestra works (The Last Paradise,
The Silence of the Sakyamuni,
The Silence of the Red Poppy, The Far
Calls, Song of Ruan, Pipa Concerto,
Great Wall Symphony, Horizon,
Spring, Cello Blue, Tide Wave,
Twilight in Tibet, The Scent of Black
Mangoo, Winter III, Sounds of Chu,
Moon Over the West River, Winter).
These works were premiered in Canada,
U. S. A., Japan, New Zealand,
Britain, Finland, Norway, Germany,
Switzerland and Taiwan, Hong Kong
regions respectively.
Among his awards included a 20th
Century Chinese Music Master Piece,
grand prize in the first Orchestral
Composition Competition presented
by Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the
first prize in Alexander Tcherepnin
Composition Competition in the
U.S.A., the Louis Lane Prize and
Howard Hanson Prize at the Eastman
School, Heritage Prize for Excellence in
Creative Activity in Music from the LI
Foundation of San Francisco, Best
Movie Music Award of Shanghai,
National Best Score for Film, National
Golden Bell Award for Symphony and
Chamber Music, Five-One-Project
Award by Publicity Department of
China Central Committee and Wenhua
Award by China Ministry of Culture.
Ye has also scored for about 30
Films, among these Showers, A Girl
from Hunan, Life Song, Out of Triumphal
Arch, Evening Liaison, Eighteen
Spring, The Treatment, The End of the
Bridge, Jade Buddha.
Musical America considered Ye Xiaogang
as one of the “Chinese Bachs” and
reviewed that his music displays such
boldly defined musical personalities,
vividly expressed. It is to be hoped that
the daunting political and geographic
obstacles separating from the world
musical community will not prevent
him from achieving the international
reputation he deserves. John
Corigliano, a well-known American
composer, acclaimed that “his music
is deeply felt and highly crafted, so
beautiful and yet always intellectually
stimulating, completely magical – so amazing.

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