Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and China's Herbert von Karajan

Did you know that China had it’s own Herbert von Karajan? According to the New York Times, it does. His name is Long Yu, and he is at the head of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

Concerts of the SSO have just gone online at, and we are thrilled to welcome our first ensemble in Asia. The orchestra has a long tradition of performing the European classical music repertoire, as well as a dedication to the work of contemporary Chinese composers. Their performances take place primarily in the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, a billowing glass construction by French architect Paul Andreu, which opened in 2004.

Mr. Yu has gained an international reputation for his musicianship and his drive towards perfection. His composer grandfather, Ding Shande, inspired him to shift his focus as a teenager from piano lessons to conducting. After studies at the Shanghai Conservatory, Mr. Yu continued at Berlin’s prestigious Hochschule der Künste (now Universität der Künste). Since his return to China in the mid-90’s, he has established himself as the leading force behind the modernization of the country’s orchestras.

At Classictic, we are looking forward to playing a role in bringing local and international audiences into the concert hall to hear the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. And perhaps down the road, rising star conductors will be celebrated as “the Long Yu” of their respective countries.