Artist Bio

The preeminent Chinese conductor with an established international reputation, Long Yu is Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. All three ensembles are among China’s finest and tour actively at home and abroad in addition to regular seasons, featuring the world’s top soloists. Maestro Yu is the Founding Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival which, now in its 20th season, is the internationally recognized hub of musical life in China’s capital. He 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 passionately conducting
Long Yu, China’s Herbert von Karajan, [is] the most powerful figure in China’s classical music scene.
— The New York Times

Maestro 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 Maestro Yu with the title of L’onorificenza di commendatore. He was awarded France's highest honor of merit by joining la Légion d’Honneur in 2014. The following year, Maestro Yu was awarded the honorable title “National Literature and Art Worker of Excellence” in addition to the prestigious Global Citizen Award from the Atlantic Council and the Samuel Simons Sanford Award from Yale’s School of Music in America. Most recently, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

That same year, Maestro 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.

For the first time in history, a Chinese orchestra performed at the Vatican under Maestro Yu’s baton in 2008. The Holy Father Pope Benedict XIV attended China Philharmonic’s performance in the Paul VI Auditorium and praised it as a big step in promoting co-operation between East and West.

A passionate supporter of cultural dialogue, Maestro Yu brought together the top Asian musicians such as Myung-whun Chung, Midori, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, and Ray Chen for the 2010 Canton Asian Music Festival in connection with the XVI Asian Games in Guangzhou. The festival also featured a rare appearance of the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan in mainland China. Earlier that year Maestro Yu led the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in a historic joint performance with the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn of Central Park, attended by nearly 100,000 people and broadcast to an even wider audience in China, in celebration of the World Expo.

Maestro Yu performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies including performances with the Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg State Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Singapore Symphony.

Leading the development of orchestral landscape in China, Maestro Yu has created the nation’s first orchestral academy as a partnership between Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Conservatory, and the New York Philharmonic. His dynamic vision is focused on introducing China’s growing audiences to key Western repertoire including Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Mahler Cycle, as well as works of Richard Strauss, Benjamin Britten, and many others. In 2014, the New York Philharmonic named Maestro Yu an honorary member of their International Advisory Board. The 12-member Board serves 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.

Deutsche Grammophon has released Maestro Yu’s recordings of Wagner Tannhäuser Overture, Brahms Piano Quartet in G Minor in Arnold Schoenberg’s orchestration, and a wide range of Chinese orchestral music including Yellow River Concerto with Lang Lang. His recordings on Naxos include Korngold and Goldmark Violin Concertos with Vera Tsu as well as Ding Shande’s Long March Symphony.

Maestro 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 the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. Upon returning to China, Maestro was appointed Principal Conductor of the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing. Maestro Yu is currently Vice-president of Chinese Musicians Association, member of the 11th and 12th the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Long Yu is managed by Askonas Holt.

Long Yu's COMPOSE 20:20 Initiative Featured in New York's Times Square

Long Yu's COMPOSE 20:20 Initiative Featured in New York's Times Square