XIA Xiaotang is a famous Chinese conductor serving as Permanent Conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Assistant to President of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, a professor at the Department of Conducting, Central Conservatory of Music, and Principal Conductor of the China Youth Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 16, he began studying symphony conducting under Prof. YU Feng, a famous conductor. After graduating in 2005, he became the youngest main subject teacher at the Central Conservatory of Music and started to serve as Principal Conductor of the China Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, he won the Gold Award in the China International Conducting Competition. In 2007, he became a conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra. He has cooperated with many orchestras including the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, China NCPA Orchestra, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Besancon Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Xi’an Symphony Orchestra, Arcadax Symphony Orchestra in Spain, Seoul Music School Symphony Orchestra, America Symphony Orchestra in the U.S., San Francisco Baroque Orchestra, China National Opera House, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra, National Ballet of China, Ningbo Symphony Orchestra, and Central Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra.
He has collaborated with numerous famous Chinese and foreign performers and composers including TAN Dun, YE Xiaogang, Penderecki, ZHAO Jiping, ZHAO Lin, WANG Jian, LANG Lang, Alexander Kobrin, David Gerngas, SUN Xiuwei, QIN Liwei, Alain Lefèvre, Xavier de Maistre, Akiko Suwanai, NING Feng, WANG Yujia, YIN Chengzong, David Fray, Khatia Buniatishvili, Nelson Freire, Anne Akiko Meyers, Emmanuel Pahud, XUE Wei, LÜ Siqing, CHEN Sa, Alexandra Conunova, GUO Wenjing, CHEN Qigang, TANG Jianping, XU Peidong, etc. XIA Xiaotang has recorded and published Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 and Symphony No.7, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No.10 with the China Philharmonic Orchestra under his baton, recorded Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the singer YUAN Chenye, recorded Prokofjev’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the pianist WANG Yujia, recorded Concierto de Aranjuez with the guitarist YANG Xuefei, and shot art film The Yellow River Cantata with PU Cunxin, LIAO Changyong, WANG Xiufen and ZHANG Jian. XIA Xiaotang is also a preferred partner for many famous Chinese signers. He often works with LI Guyi, YIN Xiumei, JIANG Dawei, YAN Weiwen, SONG Zuying, WANG Hongwei, LEI Jia, DONG Wenhua, ZHANG Liping, YAO Hong, ZHANG Ye, YU Junjian, TONG Tiexin, WU Bixia, LYU Jihong, LIU Hegang, SONG Yuanming, WANG Lida, CHEN Sisi and other artists. XIA Xiaotang also maintains long-term cooperation with three famous Chinese tenors (DAI Yuqiang, WEI Song, MO Hualun). Moreover, he has frequently cooperated with many Chinese national music masters including WANG Zhongshan, WU Yuxia, YU Hongmei, ZHANG Hongyan, LI Meng, ZHOU Wang, TANG Junqiao, DAI Ya, HUANG He, and SONG Fei. At present, he conducts more than 50 concerts around the world every year. He has given performances several times at the Culture China - Spring Festival Gala organized by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, and held concerts in major international cities where Chinese people live in large groups. He has cooperated with the famous singer SONG Zuying in touring the east coast of America. In 2015, he toured Central Asia, Western Asia and Europe with the China Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2016, he joined hands with the China Philharmonic Orchestra in touring Southeast Asia and South Asia. In 2017, he raised his baton over the China Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra and Wagner’s Tannhauser Overture at the 20th Beijing Music Festival. In 2019, he went to South Korea and Japan with the China Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No.5, and they received a warm welcome from the local audience. The applause continued up until the end of the performance, and when all the musicians had left the stage one after another, the audience remained reluctant to depart, still applauding with genuine enthusiasm.
XIA Xiaotang gives an accurate, exquisite, acoustically rich and logically clear interpretation of the contemporary works, winning praise from many composers in the world. Under his baton, TAN Dun’s Water Passion and Paper Passion, CHEN Qigang’s Source, Peking Opera Moment and Sorrow and Joy of the Same Origin, Penderecki’s Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, YE Xiaogang’s Yamdroktso, QIN Wenchen’s Symphonic Poem of Earth, GUO Wenjing’s Sichuan Road, and ZHAO Jiping’s The Qin Empire have left wonderful moments for the audience and the composers themselves.
XIA Xiaotang is also Music Director of the “Three-Senior” Symphony Orchestra, which is composed of senior national cadres (ministers and above), senior military officers (major generals and above), and senior professors (tenured professors and full professors). In December 2012, the Orchestra gave a performance at the NCPA in the presence of several state leaders and more than 100 ambassadors to China, who spoke highly of the conductor. The splendor surpassed anything heretofore seen. Now, XIA Xiaotang promotes elegant music and advocates “making China a place of music” with the “Three-Senior” Symphony Orchestra (now known as Mantianxing Symphony Orchestra).
XIA Xiaotang often participates in large-scale music programmes on CCTV. He has conducted the “Picturesque Landscape” National Day Concert, the “Concert of Works from Belt and Road Countries”, and the Four Season Theatre Concert numerous times. He also cooperates with many popular music superstars including Kenny Bee, Hacken Lee, MAO Amin, HUANG Xiaoming, Jay Chou, John Legend, NA Ying, ZHANG Liangying, CAI Guoqing, SUN Nan, Chris Botti, Legend of Phoenix, YANG Kun, Joey Yung, SHANG Wenjie, SHA Baoliang, and Jiuyueqiji.
As Principal Conductor of the China Youth Symphony Orchestra, XIA Xiaotang stands committed to expand the orchestra. Under his leadership, the China Youth Symphony Orchestra has given hundreds of concerts in cities both at home and abroad, and toured many countries and cities around the world. In 2008, he rendered Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No.5 in Seoul, South Korea, touching the audience so deeply with his passionate music expressions that they stood up to applaud him. Under his baton, the China Youth Symphony Orchestra has given concerts in many European and North American cities including Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, Vienna, Berlin, Geneva and Krakow. In recent years, he has been conducting the China Youth Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No.1, Symphony No.4 and Symphony No.5, Beethoven’s Symphony No.1, Symphony No.5, Symphony No.6 and Symphony No.9, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte, Dvorak’s Symphony No.9, Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegels and Ein Heldenleben, Debussy’s La Mer, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No.7. In 2018, he published an opera album of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and a complete album of Brahms’ four symphonies and four concertos. In 2019, he released albums of Mahler’s Symphony No.4 and Richard Strauss’ symphonic poem Don Juan.
XIA Xiaotang has participated in many large-scale national public-spirited concerts. In 2014, he held a symphony concert with the Mantianxing Symphony Orchestra for cadre students at the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC, and interpreted elegant music. In 2015, he held a public-spirited symphony concert with the Mantianxing Symphony Orchestra in old revolutionary base areas including Yan’an and Jinggangshan. In 2016, he joined hands with the three famous Chinese tenors in holding a large-scale public-spirited concert titled “Light of love” in Shenyang for cataract patients. In 2017, he raised his baton over the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra to hold the Fourth Large-scale Xi’an Outdoor Concert on the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda Plaza in cooperation with the famous pianist YIN Chengzong. In 2018, he took the China Philharmonic Orchestra to the Dandelion School, a school for the children of migrant workers and delivered a public-spirited concert. Regularly, he works with CCTV in recording the programme series Longing for Scene and Open Music Class. Also, he has been a guest on CCTV many times as a live commentator for Vienna New Year’s Concert. In 2019, he participated in the establishment of the China Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra and started serving as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the orchestra, bringing excellent music education and performance experience to more children. He led the orchestra in playing My Motherland and Me at the Capital Airport during the Spring Festival. The performance was reported on CCTV News several times, while the video was viewed online for more than 100 million times, making the performance the first iconic flash in 2019. On July 6th of the same year, he conducted the China Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra in performing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade at the Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing. Owing to the outstanding performance of the Youth Symphony, the concert achieved a tremendous success and was streamed live on more than ten online platforms including Sina, Baidu, IFENG, Toutiao, Douyu, iQiyi and CCTV Music. Meanwhile, the concert was reported in detail by more than 30 print media outlets.
XIA Xiaotang has a rigorous, accurate, passionate and unrestrained conducting style. He creates many exciting moments for every performance, which has won him high praise from so many musicians. Many mainstream media and online media frequently report on him, honouring him as “a conductor with great talent that conducts music through his every cell”, “a conductor who expresses music in the singing of his soul”, “a conductor who can get the content of music across to the audience with his gestures”, and “a conductor who offers perfect auditory and visual enjoyment”.