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Taiwan Philharmonic Announces New Artistic Advisor, Jun Märkl

Märkl is set to lead the Taiwan Philharmonic to become an ambassador for Taiwan.

Taiwan Philharmonic Announces New Artistic Advisor, Jun Märkl

Märkl is set to lead the Taiwan Philharmonic to become an ambassador for Taiwan

Taiwan Philharmonic announced Jun Märkl as its new artistic advisor starting in August 2021 at a press conference on October 27. He will succeed Shao-chia Lü, the current artistic advisor, when Maestro Lü's term ends.

The 61-year-old German conductor comes from a family with a rich musical and culturally-diverse background. His father was a concertmaster, and his mother was a Japanese pianist. Märkl said he seeks to "build bridges between cultures, between people, between mentalities, bridges in a way of helping understand each other."

Founded in 1986, Taiwan Philharmonic - also known as National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) - presents approximately 75 concerts, chamber recitals, and operas each year. The orchestra has held many tours both locally and internationally. With Shao-chia Lü as its music director from 2010 to 2020 and current artistic advisor from August 2020 to July 2021, Taiwan Philharmonic has invited many internationally acclaimed conductors and soloists over the years. Lü has always demonstrated clear, global plans and has led Taiwan Philharmonic with a steady hand. He has also devoted himself to promoting music and music education throughout Taiwan. Under his leadership, Taiwan Philharmonic has become a rock-solid foundation to Taiwan's cultural strength.

Tzong-ching Ju, Chairman of the National Performing Arts Center, said at the press conference that Märkl was the top choice in the Taiwan Philharmonic's two-year search for a new music director. The agreement for Ju to take on the role as an advisor on a three-year contract was due to Märkl's existing engagements. Fu-mei Liu, member of the National Performing Arts Center's Board of Directors and also a member of the selection committee, added that "Among many excellent conductors and musicians, Märkl and his outstanding experience and repertoire, as well as his precise and powerful performance, allowed him to earn every member of the selection committee's support." Ting-Yu Wu, the concertmaster of Taiwan Philharmonic and also a member of the selection committee, recalled his interaction with Märkl and described him as a conductor who cared about his relationship with the orchestra's musicians. Wu also brought up that Märkl had sent them letters to encourage them during the outbreak of COVID-19. All these small interactions showed that Märkl truly respected and cared about the Taiwan Philharmonic.

When asked about his plans for the orchestra, Märkl mentioned he does not intend to change the orchestra's direction, but hopes to further develop it based on its history over the past three decades. "To find the special Taiwanese component in what we do, will be a big part of my future job, because when the orchestra goes on international tours, it is an ambassador for Taiwan," the future artistic advisor further added, giving people a more comprehensive picture of his vision for the Taiwan Philharmonic. Märkl also said that he has already studied many of Taiwan's arts institutions, not just music, but also paintings and traditional art, and has the intention of inviting more Taiwanese music talent to collaborate with the Taiwan Philharmonic. In the press conference, Märkl demonstrated that his idea of leadership isn't built on power, but through communication with the Board of Directors and the team. He thinks communication and understanding are key for him to lead the orchestra well.

Märkl also addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on his plan for the orchestra's future by saying that the pandemic has changed the way events were planned years ahead, therefore scheduling needs to be more flexible with more alternatives available.

"What we want to do is provide fantastic performances that we can present to our audiences as very special experiences they will hold in their memories for a long time. And in this sense, we are working on making life better, giving positive experiences," Märkl said. Jun Märkl is the guest conductor for two concerts with the Taiwan Philharmonic at the National Concert Hall on October 31 and November 6. The incoming Artistic Advisor was music director at the Orchestre National de Lyon (2005-2011), the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (2007-2012), and the Basque National Orchestra (2014-2017).

For more information about Taiwan Philharmonic's upcoming concerts, please visit http://npac-nso.org/en.

About the Taiwan Philharmonic
Founded in 1986, the Taiwan Philharmonic, also known as the National Symphony Orchestra at home, is hailed as one of the best orchestras in Asia and became the resident orchestra of the resident orchestra of the National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center in 2005. Starting in April 2014, the NSO became an affiliate orchestra to the National Performing Arts Center. From 2010 to 2020, led by renowned conductor Shao-Chia Lü as its 5th music director, the NSO provided cultural and music educational strength throughout Taiwan. In August 2020, Lü transitioned to become an artistic advisor for the orchestra.

The Taiwan Philharmonic, with 99 members, presents a 40-week musical season of approximately 75 concerts, chamber recitals, and one opera production each year. It also launches educational programs and outreach projects constantly. The symphony tours regularly throughout Taiwan and overseas including to Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Geneva, Milan, Seattle, San Franicsco, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong, among other cities. The Taiwan Philharmonic works with internationally acclaimed conductors, such as Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Leonard Slatkin, and soloists including Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Yuja Wang, Gautier Capuçon, Vadim Repin, Hilary Hahn, Ray Chen, Mischa Maisky, Martin Grubinger, Louis Lortie, Stephen Hough, and many others.


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