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Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 19:30

Building Bridges between Chinese and Western Music

Yu Long, Conductor; Founder, Beijing Music Festival

The Belgian Embassy

Yu Long is a Chinese conductor of international prestige. He has been invited to be guest conductor by many famous orchestras such as the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Liepzig, the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and more. He has a special interest in opera productions and, over the years, has developed a wide repertoire. He has produced operas for the Urban Council of Hong Kong for five successive years and also conducted operas in European opera houses, such as the Hamburg State Opera.

Born in Shanghai in 1964, into a family of musicians, Yu Long received his early childhood music education from his grandfather Ding Shangde, a composer of great renown, who prepared him for the rigorous formal music education he was to receive at the Shanghai Conservatory and then the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin.

In China, Yu Long's achievements are both artistic and administrative. In 1992 he was appointed principal guest conductor of the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing. In the same year he was involved in the initiation of the Beijing New Year Concert and served as its conductor for three consecutive years. In 1998, he founded the Beijing Music Festival and acted as Artistic Director of the Festival, which has become one of the most significant music events in China and also the World. In 2000, he helped to found the China Philharmonic Orchestra and was appointed its first Artistic Director.

Yu Long will talk to BIS about his experiences as a conductor working with both Western and Chinese musicians, his projects for building bridges between Chinese and Western music, and the future of the Beijing Festival. He will also be looking forward to answering members’ questions.