China National Symphony Orchestra
The China National Symphony Orchestra (CNSO) is a national orchestra established from the former Central Orchestra (founded in 1956) with support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China in 1996. Directly subordinated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, it consists of three art production units - the symphony orchestra, chorus and Beijing Concert Hall.
CNSO’s present Director is ZHANG Yi, Artistic Consultants WU Zuqiang and HAN Zhongjie, Honourary Artistic Director TAN Dun, Chief Conductor LI Xincao, Honorary Conductor TANG Muhai, Chief Guest Conductor SHAO En, Specially Invited Conductor CHEN Xieyang and First Violinist ZHAO Kunyu.
In the last century, China’s conductors LI Delun, HAN Zhongjie and YAN Liangkun had laid a solid foundation for the CNSO’s operations. In the new era, conductors CHEN Zuohuang, TANG Muhai and SHAO En have contributed to CNSO development.
CNSO maintains good cooperation with many of the world’s top musicians such as conductors Karajan, Ormandy, Seiji Ozawa, Rozhdestvensky, Dutoit, David Zinman and Plasson, etc., performers David Oistrakh, Menuhin, Stern, Mutter, Shaham, Joshua Bell, LU Siqing, NING Feng, Yo-Yo Ma, WANG Jian, YIN Chengzong, Argerich, Lang Lang, YUNDI, Yuja Wang, Lindemann and Meyer, etc., and singers José Carreras, Giuseppe Giacomini and Kathleen Battle, etc. In the Oscar award-winning documentary From MAO to Mozart, the sound cooperation and deep friendship between the CNSO and art masters are well recorded.
The CNSO bears strong performing techniques and artistic culture, as well as excels at a broad range of music works. Apart from a huge amount of repertoire of the western classic works, the orchestra also has convincing capabilities to interpret new music pieces created by modern composers. The CNSO has delivered concert-based operas composed by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Wagner, Puccini and Richard Strauss.
Meanwhile, the CNSO also pays high attention to the creation and promotion of Chinese music works. For instance, the piano concerto Yellow River was created and first presented by the CNSO. In recent years, the orchestra has been working on the series concert Dragon Rhythm and Chinese Melody, promoting excellent Chinese composers and works. It is through Dragon Rhythm and Chinese Melody - a Special Concert on Chinese Music that contemporary composers TAN Dun, YE Xiaogang, GUAN Xia, ZHOU Long and CHEN Yi, etc. have gained wide popularity from both at home and abroad.
The CNSO has undertaken major performance tasks for various national affairs and diplomatic activities, such as “Beautiful China and Glorious Dream” Concert marking 65th Anniversary of Founding of People’s Republic of China, Gala for Commemoration of 70th Anniversary of Victory of Chinese People's Resistance against Japanese Aggression and World Anti-Fascist War, “Eternal Faith” Concert for Celebration of 95th Anniversary of Establishment of Communist Party of China, “Hangzhou，Living Poetry” Gala for 11th Hangzhou G20 Summit, “Sailing to Future” gala for meetings of BRICS leasers, Boao Forum for Asia, APEC Summit, and the performance for meetings of China-US leaders, etc. The CNSO’s superb skills and extraordinary performance have gained unanimous praise from foreign dignitaries.
Additionally, the CNSO has recorded music for numerous movies and TV series such as ZHOU Enlai, The Promise, Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, The Years of Burning Passions, and large events including Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, National People's Congress and Chinese Political Consultative Conference, and APEC Summit, etc. The world-renowned record companies including EMI, Philips, DG and Universal Record have made several CDs for CNSO and issued them worldwide.
The CNSO keeps an annual art production of nearly 100 concerts with tours nationwide. Since last century, the orchestra has taken the lead in art practices by bringing symphony to the grassroots, such as schools, armies and factories, etc.
Apart from delivering great performances to Chinese audiences, the orchestra has also visited major countries and regions in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Western audiences marvel that “in the hereditary kingdom of symphony, a new member has undoubtedly emerged.” The concerts of “2010 World Symphony Orchestra Music Festival”, “2013 Asia Orchestra Art Festival” and “2015 Asia Orchestra Art Week (Tokyo)” have all been inscribed with the sounds of the CNSO.