Performance Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 8 PM

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The incomparable Lang Lang joins China’s oldest Western-style orchestra, founded in 1879, for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The program closes with a contemporary Chinese classic, Chen Qigang’s Iris Unveiled.


  • Jia Li, Pipa
  • Lang Lang, Piano
  • Meng Meng, Soprano and Peking Opera Singer
  • Nan Wang, Erhu
  • Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
    Long Yu, Music Director and Conductor
  • Xiaoduo Chen, Soprano
  • Xin Sun, Guzheng


  • RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2
  • CHEN QIGANG Iris dévoilée

  • Program is approximately 1 hour, 40 minutes, including one intermission


  • JIA LI

    Jia Li began playing the pipa at age six, and studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and at the China Conservatory of Music. She has performed at La voix du dragon and Presènce festivals in France, and in a concert series held throughout Asia in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of pipa master Liu Dehai.

    Ms. Li was a featured soloist at the premiere of Iris dévoilée with the Orchestre National de France and has performed the work around the world with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra.

    In 2005, Ms. Li joined a delegation of Chinese artists, led by Premier Wen Jiabao, for an art exchange program with performers from India and Bhutan. She has performed throughout Asia in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau,and Taiwan, and participated in the Kennedy Center's 2005 Festival of China.
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    Meng Meng, currently a student at the China Conservatory of Music, was admitted to the Shan Dong Opera School at age 12, where she won first prize in the New Talents Cup and second prize in the A Cappella Group competitions.

    Ms. Meng has performed in many productions at the Qing Dao Theater and also sang in the Chinese ballet Da Hong Deng Long Gao Gao Gua in 2003. She is a first-prize winner of the China Opera Essay Competition.

    Singing in Chen Qigang's symphonic work Die Lian Hua with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Meng performed in Guangzhou, Australia, France, Germany, Belgium, and Egypt.
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    Nan Wang began playing the erhu at age six, and studied at the Xi'an Conservatory of Music and at the China Conservatory of Music. Ms. Wang won third prize at the Chinese Traditional Instrument National Contest, second prize at the National Erhu Contest, and the "Prize of Excellence" in erhu performance at the Taipei Traditional Arts Festival.

    Ms. Wang has toured Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. She has performed with the China Central Traditional Orchestra, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Central Ballet Orchestra. Ms. Wang has also appeared at the festival La voix du dragon in Paris and was a featured soloist with the Orchestre National de France at the world premiere of Iris dévoilée.
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    As one of the most distinguished Chinese conductors with an established international reputation, Maestro Long Yu is currently Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, and Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival.

    Besides his concerts throughout the year in China, Long Yu has appeared with a prestigious list of leading orchestras and opera companies around the world, including the Chicago Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the Orchestre de Paris, the Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, the Teatro La Fenice (Venice), the Sydney Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic, and the Singapore Symphony.

    Long Yu was born in 1964 into a family of Shanghai musicians. Music education in his early childhood came from his grandfather Ding Shande, a composer of great renown; he later studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and at the Universität der Künst Berlin.

    Long Yu's career has included both artistic and administrative accomplishments. In 1992, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing; that same year, he was involved in the planning of the first New Year's concert in Beijing. He also produced operas for the Urban Council of Hong Kong for five consecutive years.

    In 1998, he led the creation of the Beijing Music Festival and became its Founding Artistic Director. Along with numerous performances by world-renowned ensembles and artists, the Beijing Music Festival plays an active role in commissioning new works from today's most prestigious composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki, Philip Glass, Guo Wenjing, and Ye Xiaogang.

    In 2000, Long Yu co-founded the China Philharmonic Orchestra and was appointed its Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. Now entering his ninth season with the China Philharmonic, he has maintained a high standard of orchestral performance and artistic administration. In 2005, Long Yu conducted the China Philharmonic on a 40-day, 22-city international tour throughout North America and Europe. Three years later he brought the China Philharmonic to perform at the Vatican in the Paul VI Auditorium for the first time in history.

    Long Yu received the 2002 Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award from the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, and in 2003 was named a chevalier ("knight") of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government. In 2005, he was recognized with Italy's L'Onorificenza di Commendatore.


    Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is the earliest and the best-known ensemble of its kind in Asia, through which Chinese symphonic music has developed. Formed in 1879 as the Shanghai Public Band, it developed into an orchestra in 1907, and was renamed the Shanghai Municipal Council Symphony Orchestra in 1922. Under the baton of Italian conductor Mario Paci, the orchestra promoted Western music and trained young Chinese talents in this style. It introduced the first Chinese orchestral work to Asian audiences and has been reputed as the "the best in the Far East." Practically speaking, the history of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra may also be referred to as the history of China's symphonic music development.

    The Shanghai Symphony is now embracing a new era of its history, which spans three centuries. It has held over 10,000 concerts-including premiere performances of several thousand works-and has collaborated with many guest artists of world renown, gaining a reputation as the most authoritative interpreter of Chinese symphonic compositions. The Shanghai Symphony has become increasingly more influential both at home and abroad, having recently completed the audio and video recordings of Zhu Jianer's symphonies, Tan Dun's multimedia concerto The Map, and music for the Oscar- and Grammy­-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, among other projects.

    Since the 1970s, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has toured extensively. In 1990, the orchestra made its debut at Carnegie Hall; in 2003, it performed in 11 cities across the US; in 2004, it toured Europe to celebrate the Sino-French Cultural Year.

    Guangxian Chen, President
    Long Yu, Music Director

    Yinlin Pan
    Pei Li

    Associate Concertmaster
    Ying Piao

    First Violin
    Songjie Zhang
    Na Huang
    Ting Su
    Lei Liu
    Yi Pan
    Xilun Zhang
    Wei Liang
    Yu Xiong
    Lejun Miao
    Zhenyu Shi
    Wei Wang
    Ke Zhou

    Second Violin
    Xili Wang
    Yi Chen
    Tao Zheng
    Bingke Fang
    Yilu Huang
    Can Yang
    Yun Wang
    Lei Huang
    Nana Wang
    Jingtao Wang
    Wenwei Yao
    Duo Liu

    Zhen Wei
    Zhenli Shi
    Jiayu Liu
    Hong Piao
    Linfang Ye
    Weiqi Guo
    Qi Meng
    Xiang Li
    Qi Zhang
    Yang Guo

    Beixing Huang
    Lin Zhu
    Shaojun Chen
    Feng Yan
    Yunyan Huang
    Xihui Chen
    Yue Zhang
    Kang Xia
    Jinhu Lu
    Shujie Wang

    Ling Tian
    Shunhua Zhu
    Ming Zhang
    Xudong Qu
    Di Wang
    Kai Lin
    Xiaorui Wang
    Jiandong Qi

    Zhe Hu
    Xiaoyun Gong
    Lin Liu

    Xin Zhang
    Xiaodi Liu
    Jingyi Man

    Yaoguang Zhai
    Yuru Wu
    Kun Chen

    Zhaolu Liu
    Yu Hu
    Lu Wen

    Yelin Xie
    Terence Tan
    Zhongbao Guo
    Jieliang Shi
    Xiaoming Han

    Sergey Tyuteykin
    Fei Xia
    Zhiyi Wang

    Jie Hao
    Shuang Liu
    Qingwen Hu

    Alexander Filippov

    Xiong Zhou

    Chung-Ling Lo
    Kai Gu
    Qi Fang
    Chunli Shi

    Lei Chen

    Conductor-in-Residence and Piano
    Liang Zhang

    Vice President
    Guoqiang Song
    Jinghua Zhou
    Ping Zhou

    Head of Orchestra
    Guoqiang Song
    Xingyu Zhou
    Tao Zheng

    Zhoufeng Deng

    Sales and Marketing
    Ying Wang
    Leilei Cai

    Meiyu Le
    He Zhou
    Baolin Kan
    Hengrong Xue
    Fengming Lu

    Deputy Chief of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture
    Zhaojian Bei

    Marketing Director of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture
    Jinxin Li
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    Acclaimed soprano Xiaoduo Chen, an active performer in China and around the world, was a prizewinner at Beijing's 2004 National Singing Competition and at Belgium's Queen Elizabeth Competition. Ms. Chen won the 2001 Vera Rosa Award for most promising singer in Belgium and also the 2002 "Best New Singer" award in Taiwan. She has performed with the China Philharmonic, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, and at the Central Opera House of China. In 2004, she was asked by China's Ministry of Culture to serve as a cultural ambassador. She studied at the China Conservatory of Music and at the Royal Academy of Music.

    Touring across the US and Canada, Ms. Chen received critical acclaim as the lead role in the musical Terracotta Warriors. She performed at the Gwangju Jungyoulsung International Music Festival in Korea and toured as a guest performer with Italian singer Renzo Arbore. In 2006, Ms. Chen sang the lead role in the Chinese opera Miss Du Shi Niang at the Central Opera House.
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    Xin Sun began her zheng studies at age six and studied at the China Conservatory of Music. Ms. Sun won first prizes at the Beijing Youth Chinese Music Contest and the Traditional Chinese Music Instruments Contest, top prizes at the Xing-Hai Cup Chinese Instruments Contest in Beijing, the Long-Yin Cup International Guzheng Contest, and the ART International Folk Instruments Contest.

    While still in high school, Ms. Sun co-founded Sheng Lan Qi Xin ("Orchids Seven"), the first chamber music ensemble organized by students in China. She received critical acclaim for her performances at the ROI Productions' fifth anniversary concert in Hong Kong, Chinese Central Television's folk music concert in celebration of the one-year anniversary of Hong Kong being returned to China, and Beijing Television's folk music concert in spring 1997. Having toured more than 20 countries around the world, Ms. Sun has performed at the Macau International Music Festival with the Macau Chinese Orchestra and at the Opéra de Lyon in France. Her recordings include San Zhu Xie Yu (Pearls Falling Down), Zheng Zhi Xin Yun (New Tunes of Zheng), and Hua Yu (Whispers of Flowers).
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This performance is sponsored by Agricultural Bank of China.
Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture and this evening's performance are made possible by a leadership gift from Henry R. Kravis in honor of his wife, Marie-Josée.