The Shanghai Quartet is this season’s Artist-In-Residence

Major focus on Asian works with over 30% of programmed composers from China
Chinese Premiere of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with all-Chinese cast

Mahler series continued with his 1st, 3rd, 5th and 10th symphonies, marking 110 years since his death

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) today announces its 2021/22 season with Music Director Long Yu, featuring 20 orchestral concerts celebrating Eastern and Western classical music alongside chamber concerts, rush-hour concerts and educational events. The Orchestra has been performing to 100% capacity audiences in Shanghai since March 2021 and will continue to do so into the next season. This season sees the Orchestra begin to invite international artists to Shanghai once again, with a focus on works from the 20th century.

Long Yu returns for his 13th season with the Orchestra conducting six concerts, and Conductor-in-Residence Zhang Jiemin conducts three concerts, including the Chinese premiere of Stravinksy’s The Rake’s Progress [10 Oct 21]. As travel begins to open up, the Orchestra are thrilled to welcome back guest conductors once again, this season featuring Lin DayeAugustin DumayChristoph EschenbachLio Kuokman and Duncan Ward, among others.

The Orchestra continues to celebrate Asian music alongside Western classics, with this season featuring works by Qigang ChenZhou TianHao Weiya and Yao Yuan alongside classics from Ravel and Barber. The 110th anniversary of Mahler’s death will continued to be celebrated this year with performances his 1st, 3rd, 5th and 10th symphonies completing the year-long series. The 50th anniversary of Stravinsky’s death is also marked with performances of Four Norwegian Moods and Petrushka [25 Mar 22]alongside The Rake’s Progress.

The Eastern spirit is another core theme of this year’s season, with the opening concert featuring repertoire from the Orchestra’s latest Deutsche Grammophon release – Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Ye Xiaogang’s The Song of the Earth [4 Sep 21]. Mahler’s well-known piece uses Chinese poetry dating back to the Tang Dynasty, while Ye Xiaogang’s piece utilises the same lyrics in a modern setting. Two Chinese contemporary operas are also included in the season – Madame White Snake by Zhou Long, the first Chinese composer to win a music award in the history of the Pulitzer Prize [14 Mat 22], and AI’s Variation by Hao Weiya, introducing the world of science fiction to SSO’s audiences for the first time [4 & 5 Nov 21]. Both productions will feature local young talent, giving a platform to the next generation of musicians from Shanghai and greater China.

The Orchestra’s Artist-in-Residence is the Shanghai Quartet, who will present two sets of chamber music as well as lead the season’s orchestral concerts. International soloists are also welcomed back to Shanghai once again, this year’s season featuring Ray Chen [22 Apr 22], Leonidas Kavakos [3 Jul 22]and Sergei Nakariakov [26 Feb 22],alongside some of China’s best musicians.

Chamber music once again plays an important part is the Orchestra’s programming. 14 concerts will take place throughout the year, featuring SSO favourites Polaris and the East Coast Quartet, among others. Programmes will explore lesser-known works from big-name composers alongside legacy works from little-known musicians. Piazzolla’s 100th anniversary will be marked this year, as well as the Chinese premieres of works by Pavel, Haas, Julio Medalia and Anthony Hedges.

Rush Hour Concerts and Music Map classes also return this year, offering busy workers the chance to catch an hour of culture on their way home to their families, and educational programming for all ages to fill their weekends.

All of this year’s orchestral concerts will be streamed exclusively on Tencent Arts, available to watch throughout China.

China was hit first by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which led to a series of cancelations for their 19-20 season. Since then, audience capacity has slowly increased, eventually returning to 100% earlier this year. Due to a lack of international travel, its last season was very much focussed on local talent. This season intends to present a hybrid – continuing to celebrate China-based artists, but also beginning to invite international talent back to the Chinese stage. Sharing live music with audiences has never been more important, and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra hope that this year will continue to heal from the virus and allow them to share their music with the world. 
Facebook /ShanghaiSymphony 
Twitter /ShanghaiSO 
Instagram /ShanghaiSymphonyOrchestra