Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra

The Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is one of the leading orchestras in China today.

Founded in 1950 as a radio orchestra and renamed Shanghai Film Orchestra in 1956, it was given its present name in 2004 and presented its first concert subscription under the baton of chief conductor Zuohuang Chen. He was followed by Muhai Tang in 2009. Since the 2016/17 season, Yi Zhang has been Chief Conductor of the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra.


In the course of its existence, the orchestra has had many renowned soloists such as Itzhak Perlman, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Luciano Pavarotti, Isaac Stern, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Jessye Norman, Yo-Yo Ma, Boris Berman, Támás Vásáry, Paul Badura-Skoda, Lang Lang or Yundi Li as guests and was led by conductors such as Thomas Sanderling, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Long Yu, Guoyong Zhang or Tan Dun.


With its extensive repertoire, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra has repeatedly premiered hitherto unheard works of Western art music in China. In addition to its Western repertoire, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra also feels a deep affinity with the contemporary art music of its home country. Numerous commissioned works by Chinese composers such as Qiming Lu, Qiming Xi, Shuya Xu, Ganru Ge, Yuan Liu and Peng-Peng Gong have had their world premieres in China and on international concert tours through Asia and Europe. The orchestra also regularly performs opera and ballet and has worked with some of the most important ballet companies such as the Royal Ballet, the Ballets of the Paris Opera and the Mariinsky Theatre, the Australian National and the Ballet Royal de Flandre.


The Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra is intensively involved in the promotion of young musicians and provides a lively education programme through neighbourhood and school concerts. It also maintains strategic partnerships with Shanghai’s most important concert hall, the Oriental Arts Center, as well as with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.


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