Skip to content
Conductor Yu Long chose Chinese composer Chen Qigang’s violin concerto, La Joie de la Sou
ffrance (The Joy of Suffering) to appear on his new album with the Shanghai Symphony Orc上海千花坊
hestra, Gateways. But Yu’s first encounter with Chen was not exactly harmonious.
上海千花坊Yu wanted to perform one of Chen’s compositional works during the
Beijing Music Festival, an annual classical music festival held in the capital, which Yu fou
nded in 1998 and of which he was artistic director from 1998 to 2018. However, Chen said no. Instead, the co
上海千花坊女神会所mposer floated the idea of having a concert where the repertoires were all written by him.
“Usually a concert featuring work written by one composer is held to commemorate them after death. It did not seem like a good i
dea to me back then,” recalls Yu. “However, after listening to Chen’s work, I changed my mind. The concert was s上海千花坊
uccessful and I told Chen immediately after the concert how touched I was by his music.”
上海千花坊女神会所On the latest album, entitled Gateways, the first recording of the Shanghai Sy
mphony Orchestra signed it signed to Deutsche Grammophon label in June 2018, Yu, the co
nductor and artistic director of the 140-year-old orchestra, selected two of Chen’s works to feature the album: the v
iolin concerto, La joie de la sufferance and Wu Xing (The Five Elements).上海千花坊女神会所
“When we discussed the programs for the orchestra’s first album with DG, we all agreed to tell Chinese stories through mu
上海千花坊sic. An important mission of the album is to bridge the gap between traditional Chinese culture and an in
ternational audience,” says Yu. “Chen’s work is frequently played worldwide and enjoyed by people from different c
ultures. He has a unique way of combining traditional Chinese philosophy with Western music. You can fee
l his incredible imagination in his music, therefore, it was among the first we chose.上海千花坊女神会所
Under the baton of Yu, the China Philharmonic performed Chen’
s music during the concert in 2002, including Wu Xing (The Five Elements) and Iris De
上海千花坊女神会所voilee, as well as a world premiere of Chen’s Reflet d’un Temps Disparu for erhu (a bowed two-string instrument) and
orchestra, which was adapted from the composer’s piece with the same title originally written for cello and orchestra.
Since then, Yu has led China’s symphony orchestras in performing Chen’s work worldwide.