Music Director: LÜ Jia
Conductor Laureate: CHEN Zuohuang

China NCPA Orchestra is the resident orchestra of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Beijing. Since its founding in 2010, the orchestra has fast established itself as one of the most adventurous and dynamic orchestras in the country and earned an international reputation through extensive performances abroad.

Numerous world-renowned artists have collaborated with the orchestra, including Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Myung-Whun Chung, Christoph Eschenbach, Fabio Luisi, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Leif Segerstam, Gunter Herbig, Shao-Chia Lu, ZHANG Xian, Rudolf Buchbinder, Stephen Kovacevich, Khatia Buniatishvili, Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, ZHANG Haochen, Kyung-Wha Chung, Vadim Repin, Siqing Lu, NING Feng, WANG Jian, Gautier Capucon, Alison Balsom, Sabine Meyer, Placido Domingo, Leo Nucci, Renee Fleming among many others. Lorin Maazel worked closely with the orchestra before his passing and praised the musicians for their “amazing professionalism and great passion in music”. Christoph Eschenbach also declared it as “one of the finest orchestras in Asia”.

Over the years, the orchestra has gained critical acclaim for its artistic excellence in both concerts and operas. To date they have played in over 60 NCPA opera productions, including classical repertoires such as Tristan and Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Aida, Otello, Nabucco, Tosca, Turandot, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, and newly commissioned works Rickshaw Boy, The Long March, FANG Zhimin, The Jinsha River, Visitors on the Snow Mountain and The Dawns Here Are Quiet. Their live recording of The Ring without Words with its creator, Lorin Maazel, was released on SONY Music worldwide, the only recording the great maestro ever made with an orchestra from China.

The orchestra has consistently offered creative and diverse programmes through its concert season. As part of its continuous efforts to promote contemporary music, the orchestra presented the China Premieres of major works by John Adams, Toru Takemitsu, et al. and gave the World Premieres of dozens of substantial new orchestral works commissioned from composers across the globe, including CHEN Qigang, Bright Sheng, ZHAO Jiping, Michael Gordon, Kalevi Aho, et al. It has also played a significant role in the NCPA's Young Composers Programme, providing a unique platform nurturing the next generation of composers in China.

Alongside its concert series, the orchestra has received widespread praise for its international appearances at the Kissingen Summer Music Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and concerts in many cities in Germany, as well as in other countries and regions such as Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Daegu, Abu Dhabi, Taipei and Macau. In 2014, the orchestra undertook its first North American tour and returned in 2017, where it performed at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, Davies Symphony Hall and other major venues in the US and Canada, under the baton of LÜ Jia. Musical America praised its “joyful confidence and youthful strength”. Concerto Net described it as “a polished, first rate ensemble”.

With its commitment to educational and outreach activities, the orchestra has presented a series of Weekend Matinee Concerts at its home venue, providing local audience with specially selected programmes at accessible ticket prices. The orchestra also frequently initiates wide-reaching educational projects in association with educational institutions across the city.

In this unpredictable 2020, the NCPAO led by the Music Director LÜ Jia has collaborated with LI Xincao, CHEN Lin, LI Biao, YANG Yang, ZHANG Yi, Siqing Lu, ZHANG Haochen and many other artists in presenting online concert series over five months period. In November, the NCPAO announced its 2020-21 season after several rounds of adjustments. The new season sees the orchestra’s performances in operas including FANG Zhimin, Visitor on the Snow Mountain, LAN Huahua, and the premiere of the NCPA’s new production of Gianni Schicchi. In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and the 160th anniversary of Mahler’s, Music Director LÜ Jia conducts the NCPAO in Egmont with actor SUN Qiang and a series of classic symphonies and chamber works of the two great composers. The 2020-2021 season features several Chinese artists’ debuts, among them YU Feng, ZHANG Jiemin, Jinxu Xiahou, KONG Jianing, DU Tianqi, and CHEN Yue. Highlights of the season also include the returns of ZHANG Guoyong, YUAN Ding, SONG Yuanming, YANG Xuefei, ZHANG Qiang, LI Jia, and David Wang. As the Composer-in-Focus, ZHAO Jiping’s music will be performed by the NCPAO throughout the season.

In February 2012, LÜ Jia took up the post of Chief Conductor, succeeding CHEN Zuohuang, NCPA’s then Artistic Director of Music as well as a founder of the orchestra. In January 2017, LÜ Jia started serving as NCPA's Artistic Director of Music and the NCPA Orchestra's Music Director.

SEASON OVERVIEW

In this season entitled “Evolution,” we experiment with changes in our productions. In addition to the production of Egmont with Chinese dialogues, we will also present Peer Gynt with the play adapted by Yuan-Pu Chiao, featuring David Wang as the narrator. The production will demonstrate the original form of the incidental music, with highlights on the spiritual core of the play.

Many people might think that classical music is an art that belongs to the museum, and that people of our age can do no more than re-present the glory of the past. It seems to them that composition is in an unprecedented predicament. Yet despite such cliches, we see diverse and vigorous composition like the blooming of spring flowers. Composers of all ages are brave pioneers. They create history for the future, no matter how they will be remarked. Due to the pandemic, the premiere of Bernd Richard Deutsch’s sheng concerto “Phenomena” commissioned by the NCPAO will be put off till the next season. We will stick with our plan of the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s “Roosters of Dawn” co-commissioned with the Carnegie Hall and the National Arts Center of Canada, which was initially for our North American tour in October. Besides “To Beethoven,” we will also present the world premiere of Julian Yu’s Evolution commissioned by the NCPA Orchestra for the tenth anniversary of its founding, the namesake of this season, and the new work of Huang Ruo co-commissioned by German and Dutch orchestras. We will also present selected works from the Sixth NCPA Young Composers Programme as planned. The works of this year’s Composer-in-Focus Zhao Jiping, including the Pipa Concerto No. 2, and the Violin Concerto No. 1 will be performed. Zhao has also accepted our commission to compose the choral symphony “The Story of Flowers.”

When public cultural events were suspended, we presented weekly online concerts. When public venues were reopened, we lost no time to take action and held in-person concerts. We continued with the international exchanges and communications and jointly held live broadcast with over 30 performing agencies all over the world. We experimented with the integration of art and new technology, and participated in the world’s first 8k+5G live broadcast. We kept an open mind in the selection of artists and titles, and shaped China’s new force… The decennial season opened in the battle against the Covid-19, full of incredible experience, will be an unforgettable memory.

Upcoming Performance

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Concert

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Opera

China NCPA Orchestra and Chorus

Poems of Motherland I: LÜ Jia, SUN Yingdi and NCPAO

Poems of Motherland II: LÜ Jia, Haochen Zhang and NCPAO

China NCPA Orchestra & Tianjin Juilliard Ensemble

NCPAO in Chamber: Heartful Strings

A Movable Feast: QIAN Junping, NING Feng and NCPAO

China NCPA Orchestra

China NCPA Orchestra

China NCPA Orchestra

LÜ Jia, Siqing Lu & China NCPA Orchestra

Darrell Ang & China NCPA Orchestra

China NCPA Orchestra and Chorus

Poems of Motherland I: LÜ Jia, SUN Yingdi and NCPAO

Poems of Motherland II: LÜ Jia, Haochen Zhang and NCPAO

China NCPA Orchestra & Tianjin Juilliard Ensemble

NCPAO in Chamber: Heartful Strings

A Movable Feast: QIAN Junping, NING Feng and NCPAO

China NCPA Orchestra and Chorus

Poems of Motherland I: LÜ Jia, SUN Yingdi and NCPAO

Poems of Motherland II: LÜ Jia, Haochen Zhang and NCPAO

China NCPA Orchestra & Tianjin Juilliard Ensemble

NCPAO in Chamber: Heartful Strings

A Movable Feast: QIAN Junping, NING Feng and NCPAO

China NCPA Orchestra

China NCPA Orchestra

China NCPA Orchestra

LÜ Jia, Siqing Lu & China NCPA Orchestra

Darrell Ang & China NCPA Orchestra

China NCPA Orchestra and Chorus

Poems of Motherland I: LÜ Jia, SUN Yingdi and NCPAO

Poems of Motherland II: LÜ Jia, Haochen Zhang and NCPAO

China NCPA Orchestra & Tianjin Juilliard Ensemble

NCPAO in Chamber: Heartful Strings

A Movable Feast: QIAN Junping, NING Feng and NCPAO

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