Long Yu to Make NY Philhamonic Conducting Debut, 1/24/2012


The New York Philharmonic will celebrate the Chinese New Year with a gala concert featuring Chinese and western orchestral music, Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. Long Yu - artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic, music director of the Shanghai and Guanzhou Symphony Orchestras, and artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival - will make his Philharmonic debut. Featured performers will be pianist Lang Lang, who will play Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1; Philharmonic Principal Oboe Liang Wang, who will perform Chen Qigang's Extase for oboe and orchestra; bamboo flutist Tang Jun Qiao; and the Quintessenso Children's Choir from Northeast China.

We are delighted to be celebrating the Chinese New Year with this speciaconcert,said Philharmonic President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta. -We are pleased that the Philharmonic will be joined by these eminent Chinese artists, and look forward to the results of this collaboration with great excitement. Our hope is that it will be an annual tradition for many years to come. 

The New York Philharmonic is a wonderful symbol of this unique city and its cultural and ethnic diversity, said Long Yu. -I am delighted and honored to lead this legendary orchestra in its first-ever concert celebrating the Lunar New Year. Over the years of our artistic friendship, the New York Philharmonic has done so much to strengthen the connection between our two countries, and we look forward to building up a tradition of annual Chinese New Year celebrations as a tribute to the great Chinese culture as well as to the achievements of the Chinese community in America. 

Artists Long Yu is currently artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic
Orchestra, music director of the Shanghai and Guanzhou Symphony Orchestras, and New York Philharmonic To Celebrate Chinese New Year/2 artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival. In addition to their regular season concerts, all three ensembles tour regularly in China and abroad under the direction of Long Yu. He appeared with many leading European, American, and Asian orchestras and opera companies, including the Orchestre de Paris, Hamburg Staatsoper, Florence's Maggio Musicale Festival, Venice's Teatro La Fenice, and the Chicago Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic,Tokyo Philharmonic, and Singapore Symphony orchestras. In the coming season he will make his debuts with the Munich Philharmonic, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

In the summer of 2010 Long Yu led the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on the Great Lawn of Central Park, featuring Lang Lang as one of the soloists, appearing on the same concert as the New York Philharmonic in celebration of that year's World Expo in China. Later that year he brought cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinists Midori and Sarah Chang, and others to Guangzhou for the premiere Canton Asian Music Festival in connection with the XVI Asian Games.

Long Yu was born into a family of musicians in 1964 in Shanghai. He received his early musical education from his grandfather, Ding Shande, and went on to study at the Shanghai Conservatory and the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin. His career has included both artistic and administrative appointments. In 1992 he was named principal conductor of the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing, and was involved in the planning of the first Beijing New Year's Concert, serving as its conductor for three consecutive years. He also produced operas for The Urban Council of Hong Kong for five successive years. In 1998 he was the founding artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival, which plays an active role in commissioning new works from today's prominent composers, including  Krzysztof Penderecki, Philip Glass, Guo Wenjing, and Ye Xiaogang.

In 2000 Long Yu co-founded the China Philharmonic Orchestra and became its artistic director and principal conductor. In 2003 he became music director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. Deutsche Grammophon has released his recordings of Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture, Brahms's Piano Quartet in G minor in Arnold Schoenberg's orchestration, and a wide range of Chinese orchestral music, including Yellow River Concerto with Lang Lang. His recordings on Naxos include the Korngold and GoldMark Violin Concertos with Vera Tsu as soloist, as well as Ding Shande's Long March Symphony. Long Yu is a Chevalier dans L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the recipient of the 2002 Arts Patronage Award of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation. In 2005 President Berlusconi honored him with the title of L'onorificenza di commendatore.

Pianist Lang Lang plays sold-out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world. In 2008 he performed with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, and was featured at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Lang Lang has inspired 40 million classical piano students in China, and he has made it his mission to broaden the reach of classical music around the world, with a focus on children. In 2004 he was appointed an International Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), and in 2008 he established the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, with the goal of expanding young audiences and inspiring the next generation of musicians through outreach programs.

Lang Lang began playing the piano at age three, and by age five had given his first public recital. He entered Beijing's Central Music Conservatory at age 9, won first prize at the Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians Competition, and played the complete 24 Chopin études at the Beijing Concert Hall at age 13. Lang Lang's break into stardom came at age 17 when he was called upon as a last-minute substitution at the -Gala of the Century, playing the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Shortly thereafter, he became the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the top American orchestras. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic numerous times: the first, in May 2002, playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3, and most recently, on New Year's Eve 2010, with Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, in a concert that was nationally telecast on PBS. The previous summer he had joined the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Long Yu, in Central Park for the 2010 New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, to perform Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

Principal Oboe Liang Wang, The Alice Tully Chair, joined the New York Philharmonic in September 2006. Previously, he was principal oboe of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (2005-06) and principal oboe of the Santa Fe Opera (2004-05). Born in Qing Dao, China, in 1980, Mr. Wang began oboe studies at the age of seven. In 1993 he enrolled at the Beijing Central Conservatory, and two years later became a full- scholarship student at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. He completed his bachelor's degree in 2003 at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Philadelphia Orchestra principal oboist Richard Woodhams. He was a prize winner at the 2003 Fernard Gillet International Oboe Competition and a prizewinner at the 2002 Tilden Prize Competition. Since graduating from Curtis, Mr. Wang has also served as principal oboe with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and associate principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony; he was also a guest principal oboist with the Chicago and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras. An active chamber musician, he has appeared with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Angel Fire Music Festival. He has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra in Richard Strauss's Oboe Concerto, and in Santa Fe, performing oboe concertos by Marcello and Vivaldi. He has given master classes at the Cincinnati Conservatory, was on the oboe faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, and is currently on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and New York University. Mr. Wang made his New York Philharmonic solo debut in Hong Kong on the Orchestra's Asia 2008 tour.

Tang Jun Qiao plays Chinese Dizi (Chinese traditional flute). She began to learn Dizi as a teenager and made her debut recital at the age of 16. In 1992 she entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and subsequently joined the Shanghai Ensemble of Chinese Traditional Instruments as principal flutist. She has won numerous awards, and in 2004 and 2005 and was named one of the Top Ten Artists of Shanghai. She has given recitals in Asia and Europe, in music festivals around the world, and was invited by composer Tan Dun to play and record music for the Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which she subsequently performed with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. She has also recorded new music by leading contemporary Chinese composers. Tang Jun Qiao is now professor of Dizi at Shanghai Conservatory of Music, a member of the All-China Musician Association, director of the All-China Traditional Instrumental Ensemble, and artistic director and music consultant of the Macao Youth Ensemble of traditional Chinese instruments. She is making her New York Philharmonic debut in this concert.

Quintessenso Children's Choir is a chorus of 37 children, ages 5 to 12. They come from the far end of Northeast China in the area of the world-renowned Hulun Buir Grassland, where children draw musical inspiration from the mystic forests, rivers, and lakes, and inherit their cultural heritage from the same Mongolian spring that brought up Genghis Khan. The children of five ancient Hulun Buir grassland tribes - Oroqen, Ewenke, Daghur, Buryat, and Baerhu - formed the Quintesseno Choir, and under the teaching and guidance of Burenbayaer and Wurina, China's famous grassland singers, they sing traditional Hulun Buir folk songs and nursery rhymes. They perform more than
forty songs, five are in their own national languages. Two thirds of the children live in the pastureland, farming areas, and forest regions. This is the ensemble's New York Philharmonic debut.