In Shanghai, “a billboard image of an illuminated vintage light bulb [is part of] a marketing campaign from the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,” writes Andrew Mellor in Monday’s (4/29) Gramophone (U.K.). “ ‘Illuminating the city since 1879’ is the slogan, drawing attention to the SSO’s 140th season.” At a recent concert are “millennials hungry to hear pianist Haochen Zhang’s Rachmaninov and then post about it on Snow, the Chinese intranet’s answer to Snapchat…. A series of Steve Reich evenings … sold out in minutes…. The SSO is at the top of a growing orchestral pile in China. There are now around 80 other such ensembles…. Conductor Long Yu’s … influence permeates Chinese musical life…. Yu is also spoken of as ‘China’s Karajan’; as founder of the Beijing Music Festival and music director of the SSO, the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, he certainly resembles a Generalmusikdirektor…. Says Yo-Yo Ma …, ‘He was very clear about what needed to happen in China and he did it.’ … The Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra’s own youth orchestra is helping to train 200 conductors of other burgeoning youth ensembles … a startling reflection of the acceleration of the country’s music life.”

Posted May 1, 2019