Founded on April 20th 2009, Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) has established itself as one of most promising and exciting symphony orchestras in China. The orchestra has ventured to perform across all disciplines of arts in concert, opera, ballet, chamber music, film music and recording to critical acclaim.
Long Yu, one of the most distinguished Chinese conductors, praised that HPO is the best stage for Hangzhou culture to the world, as well as an important exhibition platform of global cultures in Hangzhou. “Established only seven years ago in a city 180 miles from Shanghai, the HPO is by now one of the major orchestras in China”, reported Musical America in 2016.
Under the leadership of Deng Jingshan, its President, the orchestra has engaged Yang Yang as Music Director and Chief Conductor. In April, 2015, Maestro Long Yu, the Artistic Director of China Philharmonic Orchestra, was appointed as director of the HPO Artistic Committee. Some of the following musicians have appeared as Artists-in-residence: violinist Ning Feng, cellist Qin Liwei, french horn player Han Xiaoming and pianists Kun-Woo Paik, Zhang Haochen and Yang Tianwa. Currently Wang Jian is the Artist-in-residence.
An impressive array of renowned musicians in China and around the world has performed with HPO in the past years, including conductors Vladimir Fedoseyev, Paavo Järvi, Chung Myung-whun, Klaus Peter Flor, Gunther Herbig, Okko Kamu, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Zubin Mehta, Krzysztof Penderecki, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Chen Xieyang, Li Xincao, Jahja Ling, Shao-Chia Lv, Shui Lan, Tan Dun, Yu Feng, Yu Long, Zhang Guoyong, Zhang Yi, Zhang Xian, Tung-Chieh Chuang, pianists Barry Douglas, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Andrei Gavrilov, Gary Graffman, Kun-Woo Paik, Jon Kimura Parker, Tamas Vasary, Chen Sa, Lang Lang, Zhang Haochen, violinists Sarah Chang, Midori, Ryu Goto, Daniel Hope, Gidon Kremer, Shlomo Mintz, Joseph Silverstein, Lara St. John, Maxim Vengerov, Renaud Capuçon, Daishin Kashimoto, Cho-Liang Lin, Lv Siqing, Ning Feng, Vera Tsu Wei Ling, cellists Gautier Capuçon, Alban Gerhardt, Natalia Gutman, Lynn Harrell, Li-wei Qin, Wang Jian, flutists Michael Martin Kofler, Massimo Mercelli, clarinetist Wenzel Fuchs, Manfred Preis, oboist Jonathan Kelly, Wang Liang, bassoonist Stefan Schweigert, french horn player Stefan Dohr, Han Xiaoming, Radovan Vlatkovic, trumpet player Gabor Tarkovi, Tamas Velenczei, trombone player Christhard Gossling, classical guitarist Yang Xuefei, Chinese folk musicians Min Huifen, Song Fei, Tang Junqiao, Zhang Hongyan as well as Sumi Jo, Thomas Hampson, He Hui, Huang Ying, Sun Xiuwei, Zhang Liping, Dai Yuqiang, Mo Hualun, Wei Song, Zhang Jianyi, Liao Changyong, Shen Yang, Yuan Chenye, and many more.
Over the years HPO has presented a series of concerts and operas. Some of the highlights include China Grand Canal at Peking University and Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, ballet Marco Polo’s Last Mission during Shanghai Expo, La Bohème in concert version in Hangzhou, La Traviata in full stage co-produced with Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by maestro Long Yu, Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde in Shanghai and the China premiere of Peter Grimes in Beijing. HPO has contributed Verdi’s Requiem and Mahler’s Second Symphony during the composers’ centennials. HPO has also performed Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with The Bach Choir. In October 2014, HPO was invited to Wuhan to attend The Third China Opera Festival for concert edition La Traviata. In May 2015, HPO was invited to attend 32nd
Shanghai Spring International Music Festival for Exhibition and Performance of New Artists and Programs from Yangtze River delta, presenting HPO commissioned program, Seven Episodes of West Lake by Ye Xiaogang. On the 31st
of December 2015, HPO participated in CCTV “Music in the New Year, 2016 New Year Concert” as the first orchestra being invited to this program in China.
In September 2016, HPO successfully participated in the Evening Gala "Enduring Memories of Hangzhou" for the G20 Leaders Summit impressing not only the leaders of Group 20 but also the directors of related world organizations as well as other guests. In September 2017, HPO performed a symphony concert on the 3rd
China-CEEC Cultural Cooperation Forum and won great acclaim from leaders and guests from China and 16 Middle East European countries.
2017 Hangzhou International Music Festival was held for 21 days in June-July, including six sections of concert performances, master classes, music lectures, outreach performances, China Symphony Summit and Clive Barda retrospective photographic exhibition. HPO organized the Music Festival and won unanimous acclaim from Phil Blech Vienna, Munich Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and China National Opera House.
Aside from regular concerts, HPO has been engaged by major music competitions in China and drawn wide praise. Outside of China it has toured extensively to Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Russia and Estonia and performed at leading festivals including the prestigious Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and Beijing Music Festival. In August 2014 HPO was invited by Taormina Festival in Italy for cooperation in opera with Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana. In November 2016, HPO toured to Czech Republic, Italy, Austria and Germany.
HPO promotes contemporary music, especially programs from Chinese composers. The Orchestra participated in the debut of China Grand Canal and commissioned Tan Dun for Water Rock and Roll in Xihu Music International Music Festival which was supported by UNESCO. In 2012, Seven Episodes of West Lake composed by Ye Xiaogang debuted in Hangzhou Grand Theater. In 2013, Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains
commissioned by HPO to Wen Tao debuted in Zhejiang Great Hall of the People. In 2014, HPO commissioned Guo Wenjing for Man Jiang Hong, and debuted in October 2015 at The 18th
Beijing Music Festival.
Cultural exchange program being an integral part, the orchestra has partnered with the board of Berliner Philharmoniker, Philadelphia Orchestra and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory. Each year eight members of the orchestra will be recommended to work with Berliner Philharmoniker in Berlin in order to refine their musical taste. Besides, an education program has been initiated between HPO and Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and HPO has become the Practical Training Base of Professional Degrees of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2016, HPO was commissioned by Ministry of Commerce of P.R.China and CAEG for a three-months training project for Laos National Symphony Orchestra.
In October 2014, HPO published its first recording with violinist Ning Feng by Universal Music and Channel Classics Records.
As a city orchestra, HPO is deeply rooted in the local community and has presented a series of audience outreach events as its priority. Reasonable ticket price, complimentary program book and free educational programs have earned HPO a large following. The residency at Hangzhou Grand Theater and nearly 50 subscription concerts have won it much respect and lots of love. Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra has made great artistic achievements by establishing musical seasons. With joint efforts of all members, HPO emphasizes on professional development following the in China so-called Hangzhou Speed and Hangzhou Model.
It has become the golden name card and icon of Hangzhou in terms of cultural construction and international exchange, and is on the way towards becoming one of China’s top orchestras, widely renowned at home and worldwide.