“Yu Long, music director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra as well as the China Philharmonic and the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, has been named principal guest conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic,” writes Oliver Chou in Thursday’s (1/15) South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). The decision “made Yu, 50, the first mainland conductor to take up the second-in-command post at the city’s top orchestra since the position was first opened in 1982…. Jaap van Zweden, the Philharmonic’s music director since 2012, said he had eyed Yu for two years because he regarded the Shanghai musician as ‘a great conductor’ and ‘a real ambassador for China and its talents.’ … In the initial three-year term starting this September, Yu will perform three to four concerts during each orchestra season.” Yu’s commitments in China include “leading three orchestras, the Beijing Music Festival and the Shanghai Orchestra Academy…. Plans are underway for principal players with the Phil to take part in the Shanghai Orchestra Academy, which Yu founded last year to train young musicians under the joint mentorship of the New York Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Another initiative is to perform the symphony cycle of Gustav Mahler by the Hong Kong and Shanghai orchestras.”

Posted January 15, 2015