LSM Newswire

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Roy Thomson Hall present The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; Long Yu, conductor / Yuja Wang, piano - Monday, November

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Roy Thomson Hall present
The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
Long Yu, conductor / Yuja Wang, piano
Monday, November 16, 2009 / 8:00 PM / Roy Thomson Hall
Tickets: $128 to $29 ’Äì Call RTH Box Office 416 872 4255
Online at or

Toronto, ON, November 3, 2009 ’Äì The great Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, one of the world’Äôs oldest classical ensembles, makes its Canadian debut at Roy Thomson Hall on Monday, November 16 at 8 pm under the leadership of its dynamic new Music Director, Maestro Long Yu. The featured soloist is the phenomenal 22-year-old pianist Yuja Wang, who joins the orchestra for a performance of Rachmaninoff’Äôs beloved romantic masterpiece, Piano Concerto No. 2. The captivating program also includes Mussorgsky’Äôs exquisite ’ÄúDawn on the Moscow River’Äù (Prelude to the opera Khovantchina); and an intriguing work by Chinese composer Chen Quigang, Iris Dˆ©voilˆ©e (Iris Unveiled), for orchestra, two sopranos (combining Western bel canto and Peking opera techniques) and three soloists on traditional Chinese instruments (Erhu, Pipa and Guzheng).

The concert is part of a 12-city, two-week North American tour commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the People’Äôs Republic of China and the orchestra’Äôs 130th Anniversary. Toronto is the only Canadian city on this historic tour.

The fascinating history of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is also the history by which Chinese symphonic music developed. Initially formed in 1879 as the Shanghai Public Band, it had 20 Filipino musicians and a French conductor; and after the arrival of Italian pianist/conductor Mario Paci in 1919, the orchestra promoted Western classical music and trained young Chinese talents in this style. In 1951, under its first Chinese conductor Huang Yijun, the 56-member orchestra, which also included Russian musicians, was soon renamed the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and within five years its players were entirely Chinese. From 1984 to 2009, under the direction of Chen Xieyang, the orchestra served as a distinguished musical ambassador both at home and abroad and toured extensively, performing repertoire from every corner of the globe, including premieres of more than 1,000 Chinese symphonic works. The orchestra’Äôs extensive discography includes Tan Dun’Äôs Oscar- and Grammy Award-winning soundtrack for the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Renowned conductor Long Yu is the new Principal Conductor of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He is also the Principal Conductor of both the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Guangzhou Symphony, and has been a guest conductor for many of the world’Äôs major orchestras and opera companies. He last appeared at Roy Thomson Hall in 2005 with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and piano soloist Lang Lang.

Beijing-born pianist Yuja Wang is widely acclaimed for her ’Äúpowerhouse technique and penetrating musicality’Äù (New York Times), and has already made astonishing debuts with many of the world’Äôs top orchestras, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Tokyo. Her debut CD for Deutsche Grammophon, Sonatas and Etudes, released in April 2009, has received ecstatic reviews, plus Gramophone magazine’Äôs prestigious ’ÄúYoung Artist of the Year’ÄùAward.

Roy Thomson Hall and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra have partnered for three guest orchestra co-presentations in the 2009-2010 season, bringing some of the world’Äôs best orchestras to the Toronto stage, beginning with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. On February 24, 2010 Yannick Nˆ©zet-Sˆ©guin conducts the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; and on April 6, 2010 Christoph Eschenbach conducts the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra with piano soloist Lang Lang.

Sponsored by TD Canada Trust
Co-presented by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall

A Share the Music Event
Share the Music, a Roy Thomson Hall/Massey Hall arts and education outreach project, has provided more than 100 tickets to music students at secondary schools and community centres. The young guests will also attend a pre-concert workshop-demonstration of Chinese traditional instruments with Toronto musicians Ron Korb (Asian Flutes), Xiaoqiu Lin (Erhu), Ting Hong (Guzheng), and Wang Ying (Pipa). Share the Music is sponsored by Sun Life Financial and supported by many individuals and organizations. For more details, please visit

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