The Chinese conductor, Long Yu (now the SSO’s Music Director), was invited from Germany to perform Mendels-sohn’s Symphony No. 3 “Scottish” and Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” with Shanghai Symphony Orchestra at the Shanghai Concert Hall. This was Long Yu’s first time con-ducting the SSO.
Every year, on April 15th, the North Korean government celebrates its biggest festival, the “Sun Festival”, holding the annual “April Spring Friendship Art Festival” on the oc-casion. The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Chen Xieyang, was invited to perform twice and won the bronze medal for music ensembles each time.
Sir Edward Heath
Former British Prime Minister, Sir Edward Heath, was invited by the Shanghai Culture Bureau to conduct the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, performing Wagner’s “The Master-Singers of Nuremberg” Overture and Elgar’s “Serenade for String Orchestra”. The concerts drew public attention and were attended by the British Consul General in Shanghai,T. E. J. Mound, and by Shanghai Vice Mayor, Liu Zhenyuan.
After the completion of the Nanjing National Music and Theatre Hall, Mario Paci was invited to conduct the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra (SSO’s former name) during the second “National Exhibition of Chinese Arts, Ministry of Education”. This was the first time for the Or-chestra to perform outside Shanghai. The sell-out perfor-mance won a great success.
The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra held a concert dedi-cated to Antonio Salieri, inviting the Italian Maestro, Enrico de Mori, to perform works such as Symphonie (ouverture) in C major and Symphony in Oprea. Mori was the chief conductor of the Teatro alla Scala for over 13 years, and is highly regarded all over the world.
The Shanghai Municipal Orchestra (SSO’s former) pre-miered Aaron Avshalomov’s Symphonic Poem “Hutungs of Peking” under the baton of the composer himself. The Jewish composer was one of the forerunners of Chinese contemporary music, composing dozens of Chinese-style works. The Symphonic Poem is inspired by the sound of Beijing’s hawkers in the streets, creating a lively atmo-sphere. This hybrid Western-Chinese music takes the au-dience back to the Beijing of the early 20th century. It was later performed as the opening work of Shanghai Sym-phony Orchestra’s performance during Lucerne’s Festival that impressed the audience.
The Honorary Head of the Shanghai Symphony Orches-tra, Huang Yijun, was invited by the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra to perform in Tokyo, conducting Zhu Jian’er’s “Sketches in the Mountains of Guizhou” and Liszt’s symphonic poem “Les préludes”. The concert fea-tured Japanese cellist Sumiko Kurata and the Chinese violinist Pan Yinlin as the soloists.
North China Daily News
On the 8th January 1879, North China Daily News mentioned in its "what's on" part, " The Shanghai Public Band is to perform in the Lyceum Theatre (today's No. 142-146 Huqiu Road, a magnificent brick building not far from the British Consulate)". Widely accepted as the earliest report on a Shanghai symphony orchestra, it began the legendary history of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra of importing symphonic music from the West, from which point the SSO has become the "Greatest Orchestra in the Far East", as a proud signature of China's symphonic music scene.
Chen Xieyang is handing
over to Long Yu as music
director of the Shanghai
in January 2009.
On the 18th January 2009, Long Yu was appointed music director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra while Chen Xieyang honourary music director, which opened a new era for the SSO. Maestro Long Yu studied music in many different places around the world, but he always kept in his mind the development of symphonic music in Shanghai and its spreading to the world. Long said, " From the day I left for Germany 20 years ago, I was determined to returning some day to devote myself to developing symphonic music in my hometown. Named after the city, the Shanghai Symphony orchestra is a top-notch orchestra that serves as a cultural name card of the city and also shows the soft power of the country." He has endeavoured to promote the international dialogue of symphonic music, in the hope to open a window to the world of Shanghai symphony.
On the 20ᵗʰ January 1982, Maestro Jean Perisson led a spectacular line-up of musicians from the Shanghai Sym-phony Orchestra and the Shanghai Orchestra to debut the Beethoven No.9 Symphony at the Shanghai Beijing Theatre (now the Majestic Theatre), featuring Hu Xiaoping, Jin Xiaocai, Wang Jian and Yin Chengji as soloists. That performance was such a phenomenon that itreceived high acclaim from both critics and audiences. The suc-cess came not easy in particular against the background of that period, but it greatly helped drive the globalisation of the symphonice music development in Shanghai, lead-ing the SSO well into its golden age.
On the 21st January 1995, Maestro Chen Xieyang, music director and chief conductor of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra went to South Carolina to perform with Green-ville Symphony Orchestra for two days. This was the first time in the orchestra's 40 years of history to have worked with a Chinese conductor.Titled "ConnectingChina", hese well-received concerts aimed to enhance the musi-cal exchange between China and the U.S. featuring a pro-gramme to include Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4, Beetho-ven Violin Concerto in D Major, and Spring Festival Over-ture by Li Huanzhi.
Programme for the
On the 26ᵗʰ and 27ᵗʰ of January 1982, Shanghai Culture Bureau officially invited "Piano Poet" Fou Ts'ong to per-form with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra for the first time at Shanghai Concert Hall. Those two sold-out con-certs were well received by the music lovers home and abroad. The repertoire was rich enough to include Bee-thoven's 31 piano sonatas, Debussy's 6 piano etudes, Drizzle by Cui Shiguang and Chopin's 4 mazurkas. There burst out such a big round of applause in the audience that Fou Ts'ong gave Huang Huwei's Piano Suite Paint-ings of Sichuan and He Luting's Buffalo Boy's Flute as en-cores, which made the programmes impressively richer.
Huang Yijun is conducting
Philharmoniker, in 1981.
On 29ᵗʰ January 1981, Maestro Huang Yijun went to West Berlin to conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker at the invita-tion of Herbert von Karajan. "This is the first time in the orchestra's 99 years of history to have worked with a con-ductor from the Far East - Huang Yijun, director of the Shang-hai Symphony Orchestra. He shows the determination of a true musician, with his stable techniques and firm ges-tures." The World commented.
Maestro Huang Yijun is a most esteemed conductor who made fruitful achievement throughout the history of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. As talented as he was, Huang joined the Shanghai Municipal Council Symphony Orchestra (today's Shanghai Symphony Orchestra) at the age of 23, and has never left the orchestra ever since.
Young Huang Yijun
Baosteel established a fund devoted to arts development in Shanghai. The inaugural award went to 3 SSO artists: Zhu Jian'er for Special Honour, Huang Yijun for Special Honour, and Chen Xieyang for Arts Award.
Zhu Jian'er is a renowned composer of many familiar tunes including Sing a Song for the Party and Take Over the Gun from Lei Feng. The supreme Huang Yijun was the first Chinese composer to conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker. And Chen Xieyang was then music director of the SSO, the first director of an artistic ensemble in the history of Chinese cultural development.
The SSO debuted the Shostakovich Symphony No.11 with 22-year-old Gu Shengying as the soloist. Gu has just risen to global fame as winner of the 14th Geneva Interna-tional Piano Competition, which put the concert more in the spotlight. Subtitled The Year 1905 , the symphony was the composer's tribute to his countrymen died in the Rus-sian Revolution of 1905.
The SSO took part in a two-way satellite transmission gala concert jointed held by the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Sydney Opera House, entitled "Crossing 2000". It was the first try of this kind in China for a concert to happen as such - Shanghai and Sydney shared a same programme live thanks to the digital technology. This special performance was honoured the 18th China TV Golden Eagle Award for Best Gala, Best Music and Best Music TV.
Seiji Ozawa teaching the SSO
The SSO performed a concert under the baton of Maestro Huang Yijun to welcome the visiting Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), one of the Big Five American orches-tras. Born in Shen Yang, the legendary Seiji Ozawa led the BSO on his own, introducing American music culture to the Chinese public. This event served as a strong start for the development of the China-US diplomatic relation-ship, which was just established that year.
The SSO logo appeared for the first time on the annual season brochure. Designed by Mr Chen Cheng, the logo was based on the initials of the English name of the orchestra and shaped as a scroll surrounded with olive branches. The logo symbolizes the Western origin of symphonies, along with their ability to deliver messages of peace and quietness.
The SSO recorded the original soundtracks of Ang Lee’s movie, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. This marked the orchestra first featuring on a Hollywood blockbuster, and left significant print in its history. The score was composed by Tan Dun and featured the cellist Yo-Yo Ma as soloist.
Chinese-born American conductor Tsung Yeh conducted the SSO for an “All Chen Qigang” concert, including the world premiere of Voyage d'un rêve, along with Poème Lyrique and Yuan. The talented Chen Qigang was the last disciple of contemporary master, Olivier Messiaen, and received many international awards.
The first electric lamp of China lighted up in Shanghai in 1879. Shanghai Public Band, the predecessor of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra was established in the same year. Through the development of 140 years, the Shanghai Symphony has been creating unique musical footprints in this city.
The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is 140 years old. Although it may sound old, our spirit is pretty young! For this celebration year, while we continue receiving greetings from around over the world, we continue paying back the city that has been our home for over a century – Shanghai! Most specifically, we create for you this unique opportunity to become a great part of it and continue spreading the music around our city together with us!
We are starting the ‘SSO Across the City’ event this January. This project is offering you a remarkable opportunity of having your own concert at your favorite location in Shanghai. You will be given the chance of bringing the orchestra to the location you expect has a history connected to the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra or Shanghai City.
The only thing you need to do is mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell YOUR story that is connected with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra or generally music, share with us why you consider our orchestra has to go to that particular location and perform there.
The application is open to various institutions, individuals, private organizations based in Shanghai that has a story to tell.
(Learn more about the event details and be part of our music celebration!)
All institutions or individuals may send their application to the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra throughout 2019, the form of performance is unlimited!
Let your musical imagination fly!
—How the selection is made
The review of the applications will be conducted four times throughout the year. The first batch of the applications will be completed before February 15, 2019 (the next three deadlines are May 15, August 15 and November 15).
Public voting will start on SSO’s Wechat after the primary election,
The jury for the final election includes players and staff members of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra reserves the right of final interpretation of the event.