Long Yu

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra & Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra
Music Director
China Philharmonic Orchestra
Artistic Director & Chief Conductor
Hong Kong Philharmonic
Principal Guest Conductor
Beijing Music Festival
Artistic Director (1998-2018)
Chair of Artistic Committee (2018-present)
MISA Shanghai Summer Festival


Long Yu, the distinguished Chinese conductor with an extensive international reputation, is the Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director & Chief Conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. He is also the Principal Guest Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Maestro Yu is the Founder of the Beijing Music Festival and was its Artistic Director from 1998 to 2018. He is the Co-Director of the MISA Summer Festival in Shanghai.

In the 2019/20 season, alongside his work in China, Maestro Yu makes guest appearances across the globe, including with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Taiwan Philharmonic and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Summer 2019 saw Maestro Yu lead the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on a tour of the USA and Europe, with performances at London’s BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Wolf Trap, and Ravinia Festival in addition to performances at the Lucerne Festival, Grafenegg Festival and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.

In June 2018, Maestro Yu signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon, which began a global release and distribution partnership. As part of the Deutsche Grammophon’s 120th anniversary celebrations in 2018/19, Maestro Yu conducted a spectacular launch concert in October at the site of Beijing’s historic Imperial Ancestral Temple at the Forbidden City, alongside artists such as Aida Garifullina and Daniil Trifonov.


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    07 Mar 19 New York Philharmonic Orchestra TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6
    David Geffen Hall, New York USA

    “[…] under Mr. Yu’s baton, [the New York Philharmonic Orchestra] summoned surprising extremes, leavened occasionally with the brisk lightness of a Tchaikovsky ballet.

    Like Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, which the Vienna Philharmonic was playing on Wednesday evening at Carnegie Hall, the “Pathétique” has an unusual form of four movements in slow-fast-fast-slow progression. Mr. Yu seemed to approach it as program music, finding a long arc in the work’s adagio bookends. So much so that he hampered applause — which New York audiences typically delight in — between the third and fourth movements.

    He was aiming for a startling juxtaposition, of a rapid plunge from the deceptive bliss of the scherzo to the profound despair of the Adagio Lamentoso. This was a slow finale with high stakes, darkly commanding attention to the very end of a concert that had begun, two hours before, so joyously.”
    Joshua Barone, The New York Times

    “A venerable warhorse like the “Pathéthique” is always in danger of coming off as superficial. But the Philharmonic under Yu—one of China’s most active and prominent conductors—delivered a sensational performance, one of the finest this listener has heard. The playing had an etched crispness like that of the frigid winter wind outside the hall, and every section played with a keen-edged clarity and precision.

    The performance was consistently impassioned, guided by Yu’s commanding view of the symphony. He laid out the long, complex first movement with a clear direction of the music’s ultimate point, taking each section and change in dynamic as a steppingstone along the path. He also held back the maximum level of intensity until the extreme crisis point in the movement. The strings urged the orchestra up to that summit with a stunning surge of power, Sisyphus pushing that boulder over the hill.

    Yu managed the amazing feat of leading a rigorous third movement march while still keeping it objective enough that it did not have the usual feeling of finality. The despairing finale reached moments of explosive intensity that was almost nerve-wracking, making the tragic coda and tolling of the basses even more affecting.”
    George Grella, New York Classical Review

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    10 Oct 18 Deutsche Grammophon 120
    Forbidden City, Beijing, China

    Deutsche Grammophon Host First Classical Concert In Beijing’s Forbidden City Since 1998

    Globally renowned performers shared the power and beauty of classical music at this exceptional event, presented before the Imperial Ancestral Temple, or Taimiao, for an audience of 1,200 specially invited Chinese and international dignitaries. Maestro Long Yu and Daniil Trifonov led a multi-national cultural collaboration of Deutsche Grammophon artists in the most prominent high-profile live classical event for over three decades. Today’s concert and its pioneering online broadcasts set social media channels alight with enthusiasm, the collaborative event looks set to have a similarly global impact as Chinese artists expand their reach and share their creativity with the rest of the world.”
    Tim Peacock,

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    26 Jun 18 BBC Music Magazine Beijing Music Festival

    “Supporting young artists is always my priority. I’ve constantly supported and commissioned the work of young composers. It’s a responsibility for people like me – it’s a priority not for ourselves but for the future of classical music. If everyone focused on that, they would do the same as me.”
    Long Yu on stepping down as the Beijing Music Festival’s Artistic Director,

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    09 Apr 18 DAVIES, BRUCH, MENDELSSOHN Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Hong Kong Cultural Centre

    “Long Yu captured the proceedings of the wedding with panache.”

    “[Yu] allowed good space for spontaneous sparkle, especially among the woodwinds. A burnished tone brought the full palette of orchestral colours to life, expressive but soothing at the same time.”
    Alan Yu, bachtrack

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    23 Nov 17 GLINKA, RACHMANINOV, SHOSTAKOVICH Philharmonia Orchestra
    Royal Festival Hall, London

    “He is reassuringly old-fashioned in style, with a long baton and a clear continuous beat, which the Philharmonia players apparently value. From the outset there was no doubting the authority of his leadership or the soundness of his musicianship.”

    “[Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony] is among the most played works by its composer, and there is therefore a well-established performing tradition for this score. Long Yu subscribed wholeheartedly to that tradition, and through persuasive control of tempi, tension and dynamics, succeeded in letting the music speak directly. He is a conductor who lets the players play, which is a particular benefit in a work which has many a solo passage, and where at times there is alarmingly little on the page.”
    Roy Westbrook, Bachtrack, November 2017

    “Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture with its combination of energy and heroic feeling was lively and precise. Yu ensured that the opening motto for brass, strings and timpani was laid out with clarity and the scurrying strings were neat.”
    Brian Barford, Classical Source, November 2017

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    01 Apr 16 R. STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra
    Hong Kong Cultural Centre

    “Long Yu’s treatment was exhilarating, tender, sentimental and expansive, befitting the variety of moods the composer wished to convey, leaving no stone unturned.”
    Alan Yu, bachtrack