Founded in 1998 by Maestro Long Yu, the Beijing Music Festival has become known as one of the leading classical music festivals in the world presenting around 30 concerts each October. In addition to bringing in top artists such as Lang Lang, Mischa Maisky, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the festival hosts master classes, community outreach concerts, and education activities.
The establishment of the Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation on 22 March 2005 makes it one of the registered public foundations approved by Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau. Under the leadership of Beijing Municipal Culture Bureau, the Foundation aims at promoting prosperity of Beijing's cultural development by raising funds.
Since its establishment, the Foundation has presented a variety of musical performances and hosted unique educational events. The major project of the Foundation, the annually hosted Beijing Music Festival, has become one of the most significant cultural events in Beijing. The success of the Festival in the past 20 years makes it the world-leading music festival and the most symbolic cultural activity of Beijing. Via the platform of the Beijing Music Festival, the Foundation also emphasizes the importance of promoting outreach and public education programs, such as master classes, campus concerts, lectures by artists, children’s concerts and folk-music concerts. The Foundation has always been active in commissioning and presenting premieres of new works by great Chinese and international composers. Such great and innovative works have become new legacy in the treasure-house of Chinese culture as well as that of the world as a whole. Zhou Long’s Madame White Snake, which was co-commissioned with Opera Boston, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2011. The Foundation also presented the world premiere of Ye Xiaogang’s opera, Song of Farewell (texted by Sun Gexuan) and the sensational China premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”). In the opening concert of the 13th Beijing Music Festival, the Foundation commissioned Howard Shore for a new piano concerto commemorating the bicentennial of Chopin’s Birth. Entitled “Ruin and Memory” and premiered by Lang Lang, this work received its world premiere at the festival. Such performance with historic significance as Rocana which is jointly commissioned by Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Bayerische Staatsoper, Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra has also been presented in the Festival.
The Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation has also jointly hosted such cultural events as the Guangdong International Music Summer Camp, the annual educational music project “Aiyuechuanxi” (sponsored by China Arts Foundation Beijing), the lectures and concerts in memorial of Chinese modern musicians during the 2010 Shanghai International Expo, as well as the International Expo Chorus Festival.
The Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation shares information and works in close cooperation with world-leading music festivals, global organizations, international famous agents, and the greatest musicians and orchestras of China and in the rest of the world, and hence the promotion of the international cultural exchange and the development of China’s music undertaking.