China NCPA Orchestra

Music Director: LÜ Jia Conductor Laureate: Zuohuang Chen

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, Xian Zhang, 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 Qigang Chen, 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 Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Daegu, Abu Dhabi, Taipei and Macao. 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 specially selected programmes and accessible ticket prices. The orchestra also frequently initiates wide-reaching educational projects in association with educational institutions across the city.

In February 2012, LÜ Jia took up the post of Chief Conductor, succeeding Zuohuang Chen, 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.

LÜ JiaMusic Director

The Chinese conductor LÜ Jia has received great acclaim internationally. Born into a musical family in Shanghai, LÜ began studying piano and cello at a very young age. He later studied conducting at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, under the tutelage of esteemed conductor ZHENG Xiaoying. At the age of 24, LÜ entered the University of Arts in Berlin, where he continued his studies under Professor Hans-Martin Rabenstein and Robert Wolf. The following year, he was awarded both the First Prize and Jury’s Prize at the Antonio Pedeotti International Conducting Competition in Trento, Italy, and launched his career as a conductor.

Over the past decades, he has conducted over 2,000 orchestral concerts and opera performances in Europe and America, and became the first Asian conductor to serve as the artistic director of a major Italian opera house, as well as the first Chinese conductor to lead Chicago Symphony. He has worked with important productions at the Bayersiche Staatsoper in Munich, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and La Scala in Milan, as well as opera houses in Lausanne, Turin, Rome, Naples, Verona, Venice, Florence, Frankfurt and Stuggart. He has also worked with many renowned orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Lyon National Orchestra in France, Finnish Radio Symphony, Hamburg Radio Symphony, Bamberg Symphoniker, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and many others across Europe, America and Australia.

LÜ Jia was the first Chinese conductor to record Felix Mendelssohn’s complete orchestral works, and also the only conductor so far who has recorded the complete works by the important Swedish composer Ingvar Lidholm. His interpretations of German Classical Romanticism and French Impressionists have been praised for their “extremely convincing musical interpretation" with "musical precision and perfect baton technique.” Having directed nearly 50 operas in Italy and Germany, homelands of the European opera tradition, he has also been praised by Italian music critics as “a conductor who understands Italian opera even better than the Italians themselves do”. In 2007, his performance of La Gazza Ladra at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro was voted as European Opera Production of the Year. That same year, in recognition of his important contribution to musical culture in Italy, LÜ Jia was awarded the President’s Prize by President Giorgio Napolitano. In 2012, the Domingo International Vocal Competition invited LÜ Jia to serve on the jury, making him the Competition’s first-ever Chinese jury member.

In 2012, LÜ Jia was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Opera at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing China. Under his musical direction, NCPA's own productions of Lohengrin, Der fliegende Holländer, Otello, La Nozze di Figaro, Un Ballo in Maschera, Tosca, and many other works, have received glowing reviews from the international press. With these brand new productions aspiring to high international standards, the NCPA has become a strong contender in the world of opera, and also launched an exciting new chapter in the history of professional opera productions in China. In the meantime, the NCPA Orchestra, under LÜ's baton, has fast established itself as one of the leading new ensembles in the orchestral world in China, presenting impressive performances season after season.

In 2017, LÜ Jia has been appointed as Artistic Director of Music of National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), and Music Director of China NCPA Orchestra. Before taking up his current posts in Beijing, LÜ served as Music Director at Verona Opera, Artistic Director at Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife, as well as Chief Conductor at Trieste Opera, Symphony Orchestra of Florence, Lazio Chamber Orchestra of Rome and Norrkopping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. In addition to his NCPA music directorship, he is also currently the Music Director and Principal Conductor of Macao Orchestra.

Zuohuang ChenConductor Laureate

Zuohuang Chen started his early piano study at the Middle School attached to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and later graduated from the Conservatory’s Conducting Department. At the recommendation of Seiji Ozawa, Chen went to the United States to study at the Tanglewood Music Center and at the School of Music, University of Michigan. He has the honor as the first person ever to have received the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan, as well as becoming the first Doctor of Musical Arts of P. R. China.

In 1987, Chen assumed the position of conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China and led it on a historic tour covering 24 cities in the United States, including New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He also led more than a dozen of orchestral tours in Europe, America and Asia with the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China, China National Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, China Youth Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamburg Youth Orchestra and Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra of S. Korea.

Since 1980s, Chen has been the Conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China, Music Director of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. Chen was the founding Artistic Director of China National Symphony Orchestra in 1996. He has also been the Music Director of UNAM Philharmonic Orchestra in Mexico City, Artistic Director of Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, and Music Director of Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra of S. Korea.

Chen is a much sought-after musician and has been invited to be guest conductor of several dozens of orchestras around the world. He also has been invited as the jury member of many international musical competitions. Maestro Chen’s art of conducting has won praises from the audience and musicians wherever he works. The persistent enthusiasm to introduce and promote Chinese symphonic music and young musical talents to the world made him a respected and welcome musical figure worldwide. What ’s more, he is committed to promoting extensively symphonic music in China and now also works as the Artistic Director of Guiyang Symphony Orchestra. Zuohuang Chen had been the Artistic Director of Music at China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts from 2007-2016, and was the first Chief Conductor of China NCPA Orchestra between 2010 and 2012, and currently is the Conductor Laureate. He had been Music Director of Guiyang Symphony Orchestra from 2010 to 2015, and became Conductor Emeritus in 2015.

Assistant conductor (In alphabetical order)

LAI Jiajing

LAI Jiajing recently won the 2nd prize and OFUNAM prize in the 1st OFUNAM International Conducting Competition and returned to China National Centre for Performing Arts, premiered an NCPA production Chamber Opera A Story About Growing Up, which was a notable highlight. In 2022, LAI Jiajing joined the NCPA Orchestra as assistant conductor.

Born in Hunan, China, in 1991, LAI Jiajing received her first piano lesson when she was five years old. In 2003, at the age of 12, she was admitted to, and studied piano at the Middle School Affiliated to the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, She was a harpsichord player in the chamber orchestra at the school from 2005 to 2008. In 2009, she entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing where she studied conducting under CHEN Lin. LAI Jiajing obtained her Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2018.

In 2012, LAI Jiajing began to serve as an assistant conductor at China National Opera House. In December, the premiere of her Puccini's La Bohème was an instant success. The same year, as the youngest contestant, she was a semi-finalist at the 1st Li Delun National Conducting Competition.

In March 2013, she had the honor to be selected by Maestro Bernard Haitink to participate in the Master Class at Lucerne Festival in Switzerland. During 2014-2015, appointed the conductor of China Chamber Opera Composing Competition, LAI Jiajing was also an assistant conductor and opera coach during the World Premiere of Opera NORA in Tianjin Grand Theater, China. Following completion of her position as conductor from 2015 until 2016 – highlights include La Traviata with the China National Opera House in Beijing, and Così Fan Tutte with the Creation Opera Institue in Taiwan. In 2017, She was invited to participate in Gstaad Conducting Academy, under the training by Maestro Jaap van Zweden, and made her debut with Gstaad Music Festival Orchestra.

LAI Jiajing's talent in music has earned her much attention in recent years from, and was recognized by, a few leading conductors including Lorin Maazel, Bernard Haitink and Michael Tilson Thomas, who also kindly offered their help in perfecting LAI's skills.

Currently, LAI Jiajing is a DMA student in Orchestral Conducting of Central Conservatory of Music.

SUN Yifan

SUN Yifan, conductor; pianist; assistant conductor of China NCPA Orchestra since 2022.

SUN Yifan studied conducting and piano at both Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Hochschule für Musik Hans Eisler Berlin. He was winner of the Gold Prize of the Fifth Asian Youth Piano Competition, and a recipient of Chinese national scholarship and German national scholarship.

In 2019, SUN Yifan won the first prize of the 10th Bucharest International Conducting Competition, with a unanimous vote. During his stay in Germany, he had worked with the Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurt(Oder)Symphony Orchestra, and Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, and had conducted Bedřich Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride staged by the symphony orchestra of Hanns Eisler Academy of Music

During his study in Germany, SUN Yifan had conducted Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, among others, to wide acclaims. In 2021, he had two rounds of collaboration with China NCPA Orchestra, his excellent performance winning praises from both audience and critics and exhibiting high level of harmony with the orchestra. In 2022, SUN Yifan officially joined the NCPA Orchestra and served as its assistant conductor.

SUN Yifan was born in 1994. In his boyhood he was admitted, with the highest score, into the Affiliated Primary School of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, studying under renowned pianist and educator LI Minduo and starting his music career from there. In 2014, he was admitted into the Conducting Department of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, studying with renowned conductors ZHANG Guoyong and LIN Daye; he then continued studying piano with LI Jian, and obtained undergraduate degrees in both Conducting and Piano. In 2019, Sun was admitted, with the highest score, into the Conducting Department of Hochschule für Musik Hans Eisler Berlin, studying under Prof. Christian Ehwald and Prof. Hans-Dieter Baum. During his study, he had received careful instructions from maestro conductors like Jorma Panula, John Nelson, Thomas Sanderling, and Ronald Zollmann; in the meantime, he also served as music assistant to composer and conductor TAN Dun.


  • LI Zhe
Guest Concertmaster
  • WANG Xiaoming
Associate Concertmaster
  • CHEN Shu
Assistant Concertmaster
  • MA Weijia
  • DOU Congchang
First Violin
  • ZHAO Jingjing
  • LI Le
  • ZHAO Jieying
  • JIANG Jun
  • LIU Song
  • Nami Inoko
  • Aleksandra Denga
  • SUN Qian
  • ZHANG Yanyan
  • LEE Chia-Ying
  • LIU Xiaoxu
  • LI Yao
Second Violin
  • LIU Xian
  • YANG Rui
  • FAN Yue
  • JI Wenyu
  • YUAN Fangfang
  • WU Meng
  • JI Dongdan
  • TSAI Chiung-Hua
  • LI Wendan
  • LI Xingya
  • Sooyeon Joo
  • GUO Yingxin
  • LIN Boyu
  • GAO Jiayao
  • ZHANG Shuo
  • ZHUANG Ran
  • HAO Xuejia
  • HE Jing
  • ZHANG Miao
  • LIU Sha
  • Kangrok Nam
  • JIANG Wenhan
  • WANG Lan
  • QIN Yu
  • TANG Renzhu
  • CONG Yanyi
  • SHANG Yiyu
  • LIANG Xiao
  • ZHANG Sheng
  • XU Ting
  • Kyuri Kim
  • YIN Long
  • SHI Jin
  • WANG Haoyu
  • SONG Tao
  • WANG Yu
  • LI Mengqi
  • WANG Wushan
Double Bass
  • LIU Yimei
  • SUN Chenguang
  • LIU Xiangquan
  • ZHAO Haiqi
  • ZHANG Guangyuan
  • ZHOU Yuanlong
  • FAN Yiming
  • YEH I-Jeng
  • YIN Yi
  • LU Yaoyao
  • LIU Qian
  • ZHOU Yang
  • CHANG Chia-Fang
  • KOU Yijian
  • Gabriel Ormaza
  • Jaume Sanchis
  • CHEN Sijun
  • ZHANG Tianyu
  • SHI Ranwen
  • JI Jingjing
  • HSIEH Sheng-Hsien
  • SHI Guangyuan
  • LIU Xiaoxin
  • HE Guanfeng
  • ZENG Yun
  • Tan Chai Suang
  • Olivera Zivkovic
  • Eunjung Park
  • WANG Zi
  • YANG Zuo
  • ZENG Pengfei
  • WANG Yubing
  • LI Rui
  • HE Kai
  • LIU Shuang
  • YU Junfei
  • WEI Zhiying
  • YUAN Boxuan
  • WANG Haiyu
  • Gabriele Bartezzati
  • LIU Gang
  • LIU Heng
  • SU Shu
  • WANG Xuanyu
  • ZHANG Yunan
  • ZHANG Xiaoyin
Artistic Adviser
  • Weigang Li
  • LIU Mingjia
  • HAN Xiaoguang


China NCPA Orchestra

Party Branch Secretary
Chief Executive Officer
REN Xiaolong
Operation & Administration
SUN YafeiLUO EnyanYANG ZheYU QiangTAN Qinyueyang
Artistic Planning & Communications
TANG NingTANG JiaLIU XunLI XiaogengZHANG JingruiSUN Xiyuan
Stage Management & Production
YIN MudiDU FeiMANG YiqunGAO Jiansong