YANG Yang was born into a musical family and learned to play the piano at an early age under the tutelage of Professor LI Qifang. Later, he studied conducting with conductors XU Xin and WU Lingfen, and was admitted to the Conducting Department of the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) with distinction, where he was trained by Professor YU Feng, a renowned conductor and President of the CCOM.
In November 2006, YANG won first prize in the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Music Competition for Conducting in Greece with an outstanding performance, becoming the first Chinese conductor to win the award in such a prestigious international competition.
As one of the most successful Chinese conductors, YANG has maintained close collaborations with all major symphony orchestras and opera houses in China. He has also worked with the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, State Philharmonic of Rhineland-Palatinate and Neubrandenburger Philharmonie in Germany; Arena di Verona, Teatro Regio di Torino and Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma in Italy; Orchestre national de Cannes and Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine (ONBA) in France; Valencia Orchestra in Spain; Greece Symphony Orchestra and Athens Chamber Orchestra in Greece; Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra in South Korea and numerous other foreign orchestras and opera houses.
He has worked with world-renowned musicians such as cellists Lynn Harrell, Alban Gerhardt, Jian Wang and Natalia Gutman; violinists Maxim Vengerov, Gidon Kremer, Midori, Sarah Chang, Augustin Dumay, Renaud Capuçon and Cho-Liang Lin; pianists Gary Grafman, Lang Lang, Barry Douglas, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Kun-Woo Paik and Jon Kimura Parker; soprano Sumi Jo; baritone Thomas Hampson; clarinetists Sabina Meyer and Wenzel Fuchs; horn players Radovan Vlatkovic and Stefan Dohr, among others. In addition, almost all leading Chinese musicians have enjoyed good collaborations with him.
YANG embarked on a remarkable career as a conductor after being discovered by conductor YU Long at the first Beijing International Music Festival in 1998, where he continued to conduct operas and concerts for eight consecutive years. From 2000 to 2016, he served as assistant conductor and permanent conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2006, he attended a master class presided over by maestro Chung Myung-hoon in South Korea, and in 2009, he founded the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra.
YANG and the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra are having their tenth season. They have performed at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, the Ravello Festival, the Emilia Romagna Festival and the Taormina International Music Festival in Italy, the Festival Ljubljana in Slovenia and other famous festivals in Europe, and have also toured Russia and Estonia. In 2018, under the leadership of YANG, the Orchestra’s tour in Belt and Road countries including Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Hungary earned the applause of European audiences and winning over high praise from professionals from at home and abroad.
YANG took up his post at the China National Opera House in 2016. He has conducted the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the China National Opera House and the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of classic operas such as Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci and Carmen, as well as the premieres of operas The Banquet, Wolf Cub Village, The Red Army Fears Not the Trials of the Long March, The Red Detachment of Women, and Manas in China. He has conducted the China National Opera House’s highly acclaimed tours of Turandot, Madame Butterfly and The Red Army Fears Not the Trials of the Long March at the Puccini Festival in Switzerland and Italy, demonstrating his talent for conducting opera.
Currently, he is Music Director and Principal Conductor of the China National Opera House, and Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra.