A prominent figure in China’s classical music scene, conductor and impresario Long Yu has devoted his career to steering China’s growing connection to classical music while familiarizing international audiences with some of the country’s most celebrated musicians and composers. Yu currently holds the top position in China’s three leading orchestras — artistic director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) and music director of both the Shanghai and Guangzhou symphony orchestras — and serves as principal guest conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He is co-director of Shanghai’s Music in the Summer Air festival and chair of the Artistic Committee of the Beijing Music Festival, an annual autumn event that he founded in 1998 and served as artistic director for 20 years. He is currently vice president of the China Musicians Association and chairman of its recently established League of China Orchestras.
In the 2021–22 season Yu performs with the New York Philharmonic and cellist Gautier Capuçon, as well as the Munich Philharmonic. At home, he performs with distinguished artists including renowned pianist Kirill Gerstein. In July 2021 Deutsche Grammophon released The Song of the Earth — its second album featuring Long Yu leading the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He became the first Chinese conductor to sign an exclusive relationship with DG in 2018.
In 2014 Long Yu led the China Philharmonic in the first Chinese orchestral performance at the BBC Proms in London. He also founded the Shanghai Orchestra Academy, China’s first post-graduate training program for orchestral musicians, in partnership with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and New York Philharmonic, which also named him an honorary member of their International Advisory Board. In 2016 he launched the biennial Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition.
Internationally, Long Yu has conducted many highly acclaimed orchestras throughout the world. He has received the Arts Patronage Award of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, Global Citizen Award from the Atlantic Council, Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Samuel Simons Sanford Award from the Yale School of Music. He has been named a Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and L’onorificenza di Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito from the Italian government, and has been elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.