Obituary: Chinese conductor and flutist Han Zhongjie, 97

Posted on: April 6, 2018

“Han Zhongjie, the last of the old guard of Chinese conductors, who made a series of groundbreaking performances that stretched from Warsaw to Boston, has died aged 97” in Beijing, writes Oliver Chou in Thursday’s (4/5) South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). “Han was a pioneer of symphonic music in China and acted as mentor for a league of distinguished conductors over the course of six decades. He was best known as the first Chinese to conduct the renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra soon after China normalized relations with the United States…. Born in Shanghai in 1920, Han studied at the national conservatory with the principal flautist of the city’s municipal orchestra…. After Shanghai fell to the Japanese invasion, Han retreated to the wartime capital of Chongqing and joined the China Symphony Orchestra there as principal flautist…. Han returned to Shanghai after the war.… In 1996, he became an adviser to the new China National Symphony Orchestra, whose conductor Chen Zuohuang was a former student of his. His other students included Tsung Yeh, former music director of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and now of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and Shao En, formerly musical chief of the Macau Orchestra.”

Posted April 6, 2018