China’s new wave of conductors, at home and abroad

Posted on: July 18, 2018

“Aged 36, Jing Huan, conductor of China’s Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, is part of a new breed of foreign-trained conductors,” writes Julien Girault in Saturday’s (7/14) Agence France-Presse. “After long relying on Western conductors, a growing number of symphony orchestras around the country are now entrusting the baton to a fresh generation of Chinese music directors…. Jing studied at the University of Cincinnati…. ‘As a young conductor you don’t have many chances to conduct a real orchestra immediately in China…. In America, it’s easy to get a lot of experience early on,’ she said…. Music critic Xu Yao [notes] the lack of ‘small musical groups’ [in China] that would allow young conductors to gain experience…. For Long Yu, 54, artistic director of the Shanghai and Guangzhou symphony orchestras, the real difficulty is that few Chinese conductors have won plaudits abroad. Notable exceptions include Chinese pioneer Tang Muhai, who conducted the Berlin Philharmonic during the 1983-1984 season, then continued a successful career in the US, Portugal, Australia and Finland,” and Zhang Xian, music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. “I don’t think Asian conductors are totally accepted yet in the West. It takes time,” says Long.

Posted July 18, 2018