Xi'an Symphony Orchestra (XSO) was founded by Xi'an Qujiang New District Management Committee in 2012 under the empowerment of Xi'an Municipal Government. As the resident orchestra of Shaanxi Opera House & Xi'an Concert Hall, XSO features full-time musicians, chief conductor, resident conductor, and exclusive rehearsal venues. Composer & conductor Tan Dun is XSO's honorary artistic director and chief guest conductor. Australian conductor Dane Lam is the chief conductor.
Standing at the threshold of a new era, XSO thrives in the spirit of friendship, openness, and inclusiveness. Embracing new ideas and new forces, XSO advocates for changes and creativity to this ancient capital. Undertaking the mission of inheriting civilization and spreading culture, classics and innovation are both in XSO's DNA.
Ever since its establishment, XSO has been following international practice and operating on a seasonal basis. Every music season, world-renowned maestros will be invited to join XSO bringing the world's most incredible music to our audience, including Angela Hewitt, Khatia Buniatishvili, Nikolai Demidenko, Barry Douglas, Leo Nucci, Shi Yijie, José Carreras, Wang Jian, Stephen Hough, etc.
Many world-class maestros have witnessed the growth of XSO, including Tan Dun, Zheng Xiaoying, Midori Goto, José Carreras, He Hui, Yin Chengzong, Li Yundi, etc. Zheng Xiaoying commented that “XSO has reached a national degree” and Carreras said: “Invigorating, full of potential” after working with the orchestra.
Apart from its seasonal performances, XSO's successful participation in operas has tremendously boosted its expertise as well. The orchestra successively produced concert version of La Traviata, Tosca, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Candide. Then it was followed by a series of classics on the opera stage, such as Turandot, Carmen, Rigoletto, etc. XSO has become an institution that is equally at home in the field of opera or symphony.
In November 2018, XSO made its first international tour in Italy. This young orchestra cast its exotic oriental enchantment on European audiences led to a huge success.
In November 2020, XSO premiered its original work Tang poetry recitation symphony concert of Chang'an, which takes the symphony orchestra as its main form while seasoned with various art forms. The symphonies reproduced the musicality of Tang poetry and the artistic conception of Tang poetry embodied the symphonies. The prestigious director Chen Xinyi, together with famous actors and artists such as Zhang Guoli, Zhang Tielin, and Guan Dongtian, presented a memorable performance for the audience, demonstrating the sheer beauty both of literature and music.
The annual outdoor performance is one of the ways that XSO nourishes the city with music. Every year through sonorous and never-ending symphonies and infectious notes, XSO attracts tens of thousands of people to feel the charm of music and infuses the city with what is the dream for music.
In 2020, XSO commenced an online promotion of classical music with the philosophy of “professional but interesting”. A series of short videos themed “Symphony Chitchat” were posted on Tiktok and Bilibili, concerts such as When Museum Meets XSO, When XSO Meets Qinling, and XSO Meets Mount Hua | Summit Cloud Rhapsody were live-streamed as the results of bold boundary-crossing work. This not only attracts many younger fans but also forges a whole new path to innovation and promotion that is exclusive to XSO.
XSO is committed to enriching the city's profile with music. Through various public welfare projects such as annual outdoor performances and public concerts, we can experience people's desire for "art"; through the promotion of updated classical music, we can cultivate the city's cultural ecology. We, XSO, take great pride in being the messenger of music and we will strive for the present and the future of our city.
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun, is a graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music and received his Doctor of Music degree from Columbia University in the city of New York. He is currently the Dean of Bard College Conservatory of Music, and the Honorary Artistic Director of the China National Symphony Orchestra. With world peace and a green, sustainable environment central to Tan Dun’s core artistic values, his art has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene and has won today’s most prestigious honors including the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement of Italy, the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Bach Prize of Germany, the Order des Arts et des Lettres of France, Shostakovich Award of Russia, and Grawemeyer Award of the United States.
As an intellectually and creatively fueled composer from China, Tan Dun has created many internationally influential symphonic works: Buddha Passion; Organic Music Trilogy for Water, Paper and Ceramic Concertos, as well as Percussion Concerto The Tears of Nature; multimedia concerto Nu Shu,The Map; the Internet Symphony Eroica; and opera, The First Emperor, Marco Polo,Tea, Nine Songs, and Water Passion after St. Matthew; as well as Film Music, his Martial Arts Trilogy Crouching Tiger, Hero, the Banquet, plus more than one hundred additional musical compositions that include violin, cello, piano concertos and Chinese traditional music. Tan Dun was invited to create music for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 Expo, and the 2016 Grand Opening of Shanghai Disney that had a record-breaking 65 million viewers for its international live broadcast. He was invited to become the Music Ambassador for the international celebration of Beethoven 250th anniversary celebration. During the global pandemic in 2020, he composed Prayer and Blessing: 12 Sounds of Wuhan for its victims around the world, the live performance was streamed from Wuhan, Shanghai, and New York, and has received more than 70 million views online around the world.
As a music ambassador for peace and an environmental fighter, Tan Dun
has led the world’s most esteemed orchestras,
including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London
Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic,
Orchestre National de France, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala,
Münchner Philharmoniker, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,
among others. Tan Dun has been regarded as one of the “ten
most influential Chinese in the world” and has received
the title of “The Light of China” cultural figure. Tan Dun currently serves as Honorary Chair of
Carnegie Hall’s China Advisory Council, Lifetime
Honorary Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Lifetime
Honorary Conductor of the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor
of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Artistic Director of the
China Youth Symphony Orchestra, and has previously served as Creative Chair of
the 2014 Philadelphia Orchestra China Tour, Associate Composer/Conductor of the
BBC Scottish Symphony, Artistic Director of the Festival Water Crossing Fire
held at the Barbican Centre, and Artistic Director of the Contemporary Music
Festival at Tanglewood Music Center.
The Chinese-Australian conductor, Dane Lam, Principal Conductor of China’ s Xi’ an Symphony Orchestra, enjoys a career spanning three continents. With a particularly close relationship with London’ s Opera Holland Park, he is equally at home in the theatre as on the concert platform.
Dane made his debut, aged only eighteen, with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House and has since conducted an array of leading international orchestras and opera companies including: the Queensland, Adelaide, Canberra, Dunedin, Kunming, and Shandong Symphony Orchestras, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Het Residentie Orkest, City of London Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata, South Bank Sinfonia, Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10, RTE Concert Orchestra, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Juilhard Orchestra and Opera Queensland, Scottish Opera, and Bury Court Opera.
In his other musical home, the ancient city of Xi’ an, the Xi’ an Symphony Orchestra has grown under Dane’ s leadership. Since assuming the post of Principal Conductor in 2014, XSO’ s classical subscription offering has almost doubled while attendance has increased commensurately. He led the very first staged, professional opera in this 3000-year-old city with Tosca in 2015 and Le nozze di Figaro in 2016 while raising the artistic standard and profile of the orchestra to attract such artists as Jose Carreras, Sumi Jo, Midori Goto, and Yundi Li. Dane conducted the XSO at the 2016 CCTV1 Mid-Autumn Festival Gala which was televised live around China and internationally to an audience exceeding one billion views while presiding over a period of financial security for the organisation and forging international partnerships. Moreover, Xi’ an has seen important premieres during Dane’ s tenure including the first Mahler Symphony (Symphony No. 4) in 2016 as well as the city’ s first cycle of Beethoven Symphonies in 2017.
Previously, Dane was Assistant Conductor to the Kurt Masur at the Orchestre National de France; and a Young Artist with Opera Queensland. He is an International Ambassador of the Royal Northern College of Music and currently divides his time between London,Xi’ an, and Brisbane.
Koji Kawamoto was born in Shimane Prefecture of Japan
in 1972. As a famous Japanese conductor mainly performing in Europe, Kawamoto has
been the music director of Czech Pearson Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2008. He
was the chief conductor of Theater Vorpommern and Northeastern German
Philharmonic Orchestra from 2001 to 2007.
Since 2009, Kawamoto has become one of the few disciples of Charles Dutiot, the world's top conductor. He constantly participates in the rehearsals and performances of Charles Dutiot all over the world, honing the expertise of his conducting art.
In 1994 Kawamoto won the conductor award of the 10th Tokyo International Music Competition. His music career started to take off after that and he regularly works with many prestigious orchestras all over Asia, Europe, and America as a guest conductor.
In 2007, Kawamoto won the conductor award of the 59th Czech Republic Prague Spring International Music Competition.
Kawamoto has worked with many orchestras all over the
world, foreign orchestras include Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Slovak
Philharmonic Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Thruigen Philharmonic
Gotha, Tokio City Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Kyoto Symphony
Orchestra, Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, etc. Chinese orchestras include Shenzhen
Symphony Orchestra, Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra, Qingdao Symphony Orchestra,
Fujian Symphony Orchestra, Hebei Symphony Orchestra, Xi'an Symphony Orchestra,
and Guiyang Symphony Orchestra.
Cooper Qin, orchestra director and conductor of XSO. He started to play clarinet since his childhood and once studied at Yale University in America and McGill University in Canada.
Cooper Qin won the second prize in the International Chamber Music Competition at the age of 15. By the time he was 22, he made principal clarinet at Qingdao Symphony Orchestra. And in the same year, he started to teach at the Conservatory of Music of Ocean University of China and conduct the school chamber orchestra.
Mr. Qin joined XSO in 2012 to help with the preparation and establishment of the orchestra. He has been the orchestra director of XSO since 2013 and is gradually transforming into the conductor of the orchestra since 2017.
Since becoming the director of XSO, Mr. Qin directed and participated in the planning and implementation of XSO's music season. He not only provided guidance for prompting the orchestra's expertise but also led the orchestra to work with outstanding conductors and artists from here and abroad with such vigor and cohesion, which has been highly praised.In addition to XSO's seasonal performances, Mr. Qin also led the orchestra to produce and present multiple operas and concerts since 2015, including Tosca (concert version), La Traviata (Chinese version), and Le Nozze di Figaro, making Xi'an a city that boasts opera. In 2017, he directed XSO and XSO chorus in Shaanxi Grand Theatre's production of Turandot, ushering in a new era of independently producing operas. In 2020, he planned and conducted XSO's original work Tang poetry recitation symphony concert of Chang'an achieved huge success, opening a new chapter in original concerts of XSO.
While constantly boosting XSO's professionalism, Mr.
Qin also focuses on promoting chamber music and blazes new trails to launch XSO
chamber music concert series. Now Xi'an citizens can feast on exquisite and
mellifluous classical music in their home city.
If Xi'an is the place that Mr. Qin initiated his art
dream, the well-educated musician wishes to root here and leads XSO to reciprocate
the city with art. Mr. Qin will continue to direct XSO to enrich the artistic
life of Xi'an with outstanding performances through various art forms and make
the city's cultural ecology thrive.
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CHORUS
A city needs a signature chorus to start a dialogue with the world and attract more foreign professional chorus groups. This is the original intention of the Xi'an Symphony Orchestra (XSO) Chorus.
As the resident chorus of Shaanxi Opera House & Xi'an Concert Hall, XSO chorus features full-time members and exclusive rehearsal venues. Yizhang Zhu is the chorus director & vocal director of XSO chorus and Fabio Ciulla is the resident conductor.
Our members are recruited from the world's major music academies and academic societies. The standards for group formation and recruitment are not only “professional” but also “outstanding”. Our performances are not limited to concerts, but also the use of songs to polish the jewel in the crown of stage art - OPERA.
When Shaanxi Performing Arts Center was inaugurated in October 2017, XSO Chorus was also founded at the time. We celebrated the birthday of XSO Chorus with the opera Turandot. It is the greatest mission and honor of XSO chorus to bring the world's top art to the audience of this city. Its second opera Carmen in October 2018 achieved tremendous success as well.
In September 2019, Shaanxi Grand Theatre co-produced opera Rigoletto with three major European theatres, Teatro Massimo, Teatro Regio, and Opera Royal de Wallonie-Liege. The presentation of this classic opera received a chorus of praise from music critics and musicians both at home and abroad.
XSO chorus has started its seasonal performances since 2018, presenting various concerts such as chamber music, symphonic chorus, large-scale outdoor public performance, etc. The chorus has worked with eminent singers and conductors all over the world. Every cooperation is a growth, and every growth is to bring a more refined performance to the city.
In November 2020, XSO chorus premiered its original Tang poetry recitation symphony concert of Chang'an. The prestigious director Chen Xinyi, together with famous actors and artists such as Zhang Guoli, Zhang Tielin, and Guan Dongtian, presented a memorable performance for the audience, demonstrating the sheer beauty both of literature and music.
XSO chorus shares its voice with Xi'an in the annual outdoor performance, infuses the city with what is the dream for music. The world-famous historical and cultural city is oozing a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
In August 2019, XSO chorus started a public welfare chorus group “Love Singing” which provides a platform with no access threshold and no cost for people who love singing in Xi'an. It offers professional on-site guidance so that people can relish the joy and intoxication from singing.
XSO chorus insists on performing for the public, popularizing and disseminating high art by visiting campuses and communities. Citizens of Xi'an can embrace music and maximize their music aesthetic through the works of genuine vitality.
In the future, XSO chorus will keep on presenting more refined performances through its expertise and professionalism. Fueling the city with a never-ending vigor and displaying the unique beauty of elegant music.
Fabio Ciulla graduated from Conservatorio di Musica “Vincenzo Bellini” di Palemero in 1982 with piano major and 1992 with chorus and chorus conducting major. Whether as a soloist or as part of a chamber ensemble, he has displayed real musicianship.
Fabio Chula is also a composer who attaches great importance to the creation of vocal and instrumental music. In 2017, he was nominated as the chorus conductor in the premiere of Salve o terra, che altèra ne vai composed by Gaetano Donizetti in 1825.
As an orchestra pianist, Fabio Chula played at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania from 1991 to 1992.
From 1997 to 2003, he was the associate conductor and stage director at Teatro Massimo di Palermo.
From 2002 to 2008, he worked as chorus conductor in operas at Valletta Mansion in Malta.
In 2005, he became the assistant conductor and assistant director at Seoul Arts Center in South Korea.
In 2008, he was invited to be the assistant director at Toledo International Festival in Spain
From 2008 to 2013 and from 2017 to today, he served as the chorus conductor and children's choir conductor at Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo.
Yizhang Zhu is a lyric tenor living in Italy. He has studied vocal music since childhood and majored in vocal music at Conservatorio V.Bellini di Palermo under the guidance of the famous Italian soprano Patrizia Pace and the distinguished Italian art director and conductor Prof. Fabio Ciulla. He graduated with a perfect score and obtained his master's degree. Yizhang Zhu joined XSO chorus in 2019 as the chorus director and vocal director.
Mr. Zhu has been invited to many performances at home and abroad: in 2014, he was invited by the Victorian Government in Italy to perform at the New Year Concert in Victoria Theatre. In 2015, he was commissioned by Teatro Trapani to appear in Don Giovanni and Rigoletto. In 2016, he participated in Madama Butterfly at Teatro Massimo. In 2017, he sang in Shaanxi Grand Theatre's production of Turandot and also served as the assistant director. In 2018, he starred in La traviata at Teatro Cesena in Italy. In 2019, his engagements took him to the Chinese National Grand Theatre for an original opera Snow White, then followed by a performance at Shaanxi Grand Theatre with the production of Rigoletto.
Since joining the XSO chorus in 2019, MR. Zhu directed and participated in the planning and implementation of the chorus's music season. Chorus members have been following his lead to practice the genuine Italian bel canto, which broadened the depth of their vocal performance, mobilized their enthusiasm, and continuously boosted their opera singing expertise.
Meanwhile, Mr.Zhu offered his guidance for XSO chorus to start a public welfare chorus group “Love Singing” which provides a platform with no access threshold and no cost for people who love singing in Xi'an. It offers professional on-site guidance so that people can relish the joy and intoxication from singing.
XSO chorus insists on performing for the public, so is Mr. Zhu. They are trying to popularize and disseminate high art by visiting campuses and communities. Citizens of Xi'an can embrace music and maximize their music aesthetic through the works of genuine vitality.
In the future, Mr. Zhu and XSO chorus will keep on presenting more refined performances for the people who love singing with a terrific standard of musicianship and fuel the city with a never-ending vigor.