Conductor Long Yu is currently artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, music director of the Shanghai Symphony, and artistic director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. All three ensembles are among China’s finest and tour actively at home and abroad in addition to their regular seasons featuring the world’s top soloists. Yu is also the founding artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival, which, now in its 15th season, is the internationally recognized hub of musical life in China’s capital. Long Yu shares the position of artistic co-director of the MISA Festival with Charles Dutoit, bringing classical music to the young people of Shanghai.
Long Yu was born in Shanghai in 1964 into a family of musicians. His grandfather Ding Shande, a renowned composer, inspired his passion for music and encouraged him to study at the Shanghai Conservatory and Berlin’s Hochschule der Künste. Upon returning to China, Yu was appointed principal conductor of the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing. Long Yu is a Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the recipient of the 2002 Arts Patronage Award of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation. In 2005 the Italian government honored Long Yu with the title of L’onorificenza di commendatore.
In 2014, Yu and the China Philharmonic became the first Chinese conductor and the first Chinese orchestra to play the fabled BBC Proms series with a televised performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The concert was viewed by millions of people across the United Kingdom. Yu performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies, including performances with the Orchestre de Paris, Hamburg State Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Chicago, BBC, Sydney, and Singapore symphony orchestras, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York, Munich, and Los Angeles philharmonics, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
Leading the development of orchestral landscape in China, Long Yu has created the nation’s first orchestral academy as a partnership between Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Conservatory, and New York Philharmonic. His dynamic vision is focused on introducing China’s growing audiences to key Western repertoire including Wagner’s Ring cycle, Mahler symphonies, and works of Britten, Richard Strauss, and many others. In 2014 the New York Philharmonic named Long Yu an honorary member of their International Advisory Board. The 12-member board will serve as a network of advocates and ambassadors connecting with individuals and institutions in their home countries to cultivate the Philharmonic’s long-term reach and influence worldwide.