Long Yu leads DG120 celebrations at Beijing’s Forbidden City

Next week, to celebrate 120 years of Deutsche Grammophon, Long Yu will conduct the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in a very special concert on Wednesday 10 October.

Wednesday’s concert will be held in the unique surroundings of Taimiao, the Imperial Ancestral Palace in The Forbidden City; a UNESCO World Heritage Site and complex that served as the home of emperors as well as the ceremonial and political centre of the Chinese government for almost 500 years. It will be the first classical music event to be held at the site since 2001.

Long – who signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon earlier this year – will conduct Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Ravel’s Piano Concerto, fellow DG artist Max Richter’s November, and Liu Tianhua arr. Huang Yijun A Fine Evening. He will be joined on stage by Aida Garifullina and Toby Spence.

They will preview the programme at Shanghai Symphony Hall on Sunday 7 October, before they travel to Beijing.

In an interview for The Green Room, Long shared his delight at joining the DG family: “It is a great honour and a pleasure to be a DG artist. The label is a symbol of such high quality, and it is a real moment of professional recognition for the SSO, which is turning into one of the leading orchestras in the world.” Read the full interview here.

Ahead of the celebratory concert, Long and the orchestra have also recorded their debut album for the label in Shanghai. Set for release next year and coinciding with the orchestra’s 140th anniversary, it will establish a dialogue between Chinese and European orchestral music in repertoire.

Toby arrives in Asia straight from a series of successful concerts of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Houston Symphony. His 2018/19 started with the release of Deborah Warner’s award-winning Billy Budd on DVD to great critical acclaim; a role and production Toby will reprise in the spring for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Other highlights this season include Britten War Requiem with Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Szymanowski’s Third Symphony for the Gulbenkian Foundation and a staged version of Les Illuminations for Teatro Real Madrid.

Aida’s recent highlights include performances at the opening and closing ceremonies of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, and at the Concert de Paris for Bastille Day – both events broadcast live on television to millions worldwide. During the 18/19 season, she will make anticipated debuts at the Metropolitan Opera in Don Giovanni, and at Staatsoper Berlin in a new Tcherniakov production of Mussorgsky’s Bethrothal in a Monastery conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

DG120 celebrations will continue throughout the 2018/19 season, with celebratory concerts taking place in Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, Hong Kong, London, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo. Find out more on the DG120 website

Wednesday’s concert will be streamed delayed live on the DG YouTube channel.

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