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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.

MUSICIANS

Concertmaster
  • 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
  • MAO Xueyang
  • 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
Viola
  • ZHUANG Ran
  • HAO Xuejia
  • HE Jing
  • ZHANG Miao
  • LIU Sha
  • Kangrok Nam
  • JIANG Wenhan
  • WANG Lan
  • QIN Yu
  • TANG Renzhu
  • CONG Yanyi
  • SHANG Yiyu
Cello
  • 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
Flute
  • YEH I-Jeng
  • YIN Yi
  • LU Yaoyao
  • LIU Qian
Oboe
  • ZHOU Yang
  • CHANG Chia-Fang
  • KOU Yijian
  • Gabriel Ormaza
Clarinet
  • Jaume Sanchis
  • CHEN Sijun
  • ZHANG Tianyu
  • SHI Ranwen
Bassoon
  • JI Jingjing
  • HSIEH Sheng-Hsien
  • SHI Guangyuan
Horn
  • LIU Xiaoxin
  • HE Guanfeng
  • ZENG Yun
  • Tan Chai Suang
  • Olivera Zivkovic
  • Eunjung Park
  • WANG Zi
  • YANG Zuo
  • ZENG Pengfei
Trumpet
  • WANG Yubing
  • LI Rui
  • HE Kai
Trombone
  • LIU Shuang
  • YU Junfei
  • WEI Zhiying
  • YUAN Boxuan
Tuba
  • WANG Haiyu
Timpani
  • Gabriele Bartezzati
  • LIU Gang
Percussion
  • LIU Heng
  • SU Shu
  • WANG Xuanyu
  • ZHANG Yunan
Harp
  • ZHANG Xiaoyin
Artistic Adviser
  • Weigang Li
  • LIU Mingjia
  • HAN Xiaoguang

STAFF

China NCPA Orchestra

Party Branch Secretary
CHEN Ge
Chief Executive Officer
REN Xiaolong
Operation & Administration
SUN YafeiLUO EnyanYANG ZheYU Qiang
Artistic Planning & Communications
TANG NingTANG JiaLIU XunLI XiaogengZHANG Jingrui
Stage Management & Production
YIN MudiDU FeiMANG YiqunGAO Jiansong