Detroit Symphony Orchestra performs world and U.S. premieres by 2012 Guggenheim Fellow Xiaogang Ye Sunday, September 22, 2013 (3 p.m.) Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts


[New York] Following two triumphant performances at Carnegie Hall during May’s Spring For Music festival, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra returns to New York for a concert at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on September 22 devoted solely to symphonic and vocal works of Chinese-born composer Xiaogang Ye. Entitled SONGS OF THE EARTH, the program not only features the orchestra with Chinese-born, Yale- and Juilliard-trained conductor Yongyan Hu but also highlights outstanding soloists from the United States and beyond: Taiwanese-born violinist Cho-Liang Lin, Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, Chinese tenor Yijie Shi, baritone Chen-Ye Yuan, zheng player Ji Wei and boy soprano Liu Shen. Also appearing in the world premiere of the opening work, Twilight of the Himalayas, is the New York Choral Society. This concert marks the first time that a major American orchestra performs a full concert in the United States of symphonic works by a single composer of Chinese descent.

Currently the Vice President of the Central Conservatory of Music—China’s premier musical educational institution—Xiaogang Ye (b. 1955) was one of the outstanding composition students in the “Class of 1978,” where he studied alongside Tan Dun, Chen Yi, Zhou Long and Chen Qigang. Early in China’s reform era, Ye was among the first young talents to pursue advanced studies abroad (at the Eastman School of Music). A student of Mingxin Du, Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, Louis Andriessen and Alexander Goehr, Ye has mentored numerous young Chinese talents in the past two decades. In 2008, three billion people around the world heard his music featured at the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony, performed by Lang Lang on the piano.

Most recently, Ye received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2012), which resulted in the new work Twilight of the Himalayas, inspired by the natural beauty of Nepal and Tibet, featuring tenor soloist Yijie Shi, boy soprano Liu Shen, zheng (Chinese zither) virtuoso Ji Wei and the New York Choral Society with texts by Lee Shaosheng and Liu Sola. Also included in the program is an early work with violin soloist Cho-Liang Lin. Written in 1993, The Last Paradise is a single movement concerto dominated by the violin’s cantilena and dancing figures; it is a young Chinese composer’s response to the rich European tradition of the violin concerto.

Of special note in this concert is the complete rendition of The Song of the Earth, Ye’s response to Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Similar to Mahler’s epic tome but scored for soprano and baritone soloists, Ye’s work contains multiple movements, setting original Chinese poetry that had inspired Mahler in translation (via Hans Bethge’s collection Die chinesische Flöte). Soprano movements of this work have already been performed in the Avery Fisher Hall in 2005 and 2013, both under the baton of Maestro Long Yu, with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and New York Philharmonic respectively. Critic Allan Kozinn of The New York Times described the 2005 selection as a “lush, neo-Romantic orchestral score.” Baritone movements of The Song of the Earth premiered at the Berlin Konzerthaus in 2005, and the complete work has since been presented by the China Philharmonic, Guangzhou Symphony, Bamberg and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras.

On September 22, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performs U.S. premiere of the complete work with Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman and Chinese baritone Chen-Ye Yuan. While Yuan has performed The Song of the Earth since its world premiere in Europe and Asia, Brueggergosman will meet the refreshing challenge in learning to sing in Mandarin Chinese for the first time. Yuan is most noted for his American operatic appearances, including Dr. Friedrich Bhaer in the recording and PBS televised production of Mark Adamo’s Little Women (2001) and Zhou En-lai in recent productions of Nixon in China for San Francisco Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Vancouver Opera, as well as the Naxos recording with Opera Colorado conducted by Marin Alsop. Both Chen-Ye Yuan and Yijie Shi are prominent operatic artists in China: the last time these two Chinese-born singers shared the stage was Xiaogang Ye’s Song of Farewell (2010), an opera about Peking opera performers in pre-revolutionary China.

In addition to being an outstanding composer, Ye is also a champion for new music in China and the West. In 2002, he founded Beijing Modern Music Festival (BMMF). Organized by the Central Conservatory of Music and now in its 11th year, the BMMF has hosted contemporary master composers from Robert Beaser to Stephen Hartke, Kaija Saariaho to Louis Andriessen, Steven Stucky and Aaron Jay Kernis. Prominent New York groups such as the Bang on a Can All-Stars have also taken part in festival, enlivening Beijing’s already vibrant new-music scene. From the year of its founding, the BMMF became an annual gathering for new-music audiences in China, generating a true “festive” atmosphere for a total immersion into contemporary music. Maestro Yongyan Hu, co-founder of the BMMF, has served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the EOS Repertoire and Dean of China’s Orchestra Academy at the Central Conservatory of Music from its inception in 2004. Modeled after the New World Symphony’s curriculum, Hu’s program has trained and nurtured two generations of accomplished orchestra players who have subsequently made their mark in China’s burgeoning music scene. During the 2001-2002 season, Hu made his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Choral Society in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The following October, the New York Choral Society traveled to Beijing to perform the China premiere of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. In addition to leading the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on tour in Europe, he served as Music Director of the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra from 2000-2003. Hu has also guest conducted various orchestras around the world.

The DSO’s involvement with the Central Conservatory of Music launches with this Avery Fisher Hall concert. “The DSO is thrilled to partner with the Central Conservatory of Music to help bring Chinese new music to U.S. audiences,” said Anne Parsons, DSO President and CEO, of the upcoming Avery Fisher Hall concert. “This is a unique opportunity to intertwine two cities with rich musical traditions and two institutions with proud heritages – all as a result of distinguished members of the DSO playing an invaluable part in bringing us together.” In many ways, this project with China further strengthens the DSO’s mission of garnering community support and giving back to the community.

The September 22 concert is co-sponsored by the State Council Information Office and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Chinese Literature Foundation, Oceanwide Foundation, Zhejiang Henyi Group Co. Ltd. and the Beijing Performance & Arts Group Co., Ltd.

For information on the above concert as well as future DSO-Central Conservatory of Music projects, contact Joanna Lee, Museworks Limited (; US +1 917 365 2479; HK +852 91913182) or Gabrielle Poshadlo, Patron Communications and Public Relations Manager, DSO (; US +1 313 576 5194).

For more information on the September 22 Avery Fisher Hall concert and artists, please visit

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Yongyan Hu, conductor

Twilight of the Himalayas (2012-13) (World premiere)

(Texts by Shaosheng Lee and Liu Sola)

Yijie Shi, tenor

Liu Shen, boy soprano

Ji Wei, zheng

New York Choral Society

The Last Paradise for Violin and Orchestra (1993) (U.S. premiere)

Cho-Liang Lin, violin

The Song of the Earth (2005) (U.S. premiere of the complete work)

Measha Brueggergosman, soprano

Chen-Ye Yuan, baritone

Ticket information and prices:

$125, $80, $50, $40, $30, $20

Available at Center Charge and online,

Box Office at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center



Born on September 23, 1955, Xiaogang Ye is regarded as one of the leading Chinese composers active on the international scene today. From 1978 to 1983, he studied at China’s Central Conservatory of Music, and upon graduation was appointed resident composer and lecturer at that institution. In 1987, he studied at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. Among his teachers were Mingxin Du, Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, Louis Andriessen and Alexander Goehr. In 2002, Ye founded the Beijing Modern Music Festival at the Central Conservatory of Music and continues to serve as the Festival’s Artistic Director. In 2009, he was appointed as Vice President of the Central Conservatory of Music.

Ye’s oeuvre covers symphonic works, chamber music for various instruments, and stage works as well as film music, for which he received Best Original Music in China’s “Golden Rooster” film awards and various Hong Kong Film Awards. Ye’s early accolades include first prize in the Alexander Tcherepnin Composition Competition (1982) and the Japan Dance Star Ballet Prize (1986). He was a fellow of the Metropolitan Life Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts (1996). In 2012, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship, which enabled the composition of Twilight of the Himalayas, receiving its world premiere at Avery Fisher Hall.

In August 2008, Ye’s Starry Sky was premiered during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing by Lang Lang. Accompanied by dance and dazzling lights, the live broadcast attracted three billion viewers worldwide.

Regarded as a leading and influential composer in China, Ye is also a standing member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and Vice Chairman of the China Musicians Association. He has also served on the jury for the Luxembourg International Composition Competition.

YONGYAN HU, Conductor
Currently Artistic Director and Conductor of the EOS Repertoire Orchestra, Dean of China’s Orchestra Academy at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Yongyan Hu was born in Shanghai, where both of his parents served as members of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

Hu began his formal studies at the Central Conservatory of Music, after which he studied at Yale University and the Juilliard School, where he received a master’s degree. He served as Music Director and Conductor of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra (1993-98) and Duluth Symphony Orchestra (1995-2000). Hu also led the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra—Asia’s oldest orchestra—on an acclaimed European tour in the 1990s. After returning to China, Hu served as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra). Hu has also served as Principal Conductor of the China National Symphony Orchestra, leading its first visit to South Korea and Taiwan. In 2009, Hu led the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra on a well-received U.S. concert tour, performing both at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center.

Hu’s guest conducting appearances include the Orchestra National de France, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, London’s Royal Philharmonic, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, as well as orchestras in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He has worked with Germany’s Lübeck Opera and Opera Kiel. In September 2010, Hu toured Canada with Peking Opera Master Mei Baojiu (son of Mei Lanfang) and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Under Maestro’s Hu leadership, the EOS Repertoire Orchestra has introduced classical music to nearly 10,000 university students through the “U-Music” program since 2011. Under his initiative, the EOS Orchestra helps schoolchildren of migrant workers around Beijing in its “Music Rainbow” program.


Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman has emerged as a magnificent performer and vibrant personality stretching well beyond the world of classical music. Nearly 3.2 billion viewers witnessed her performance of the Olympic Hymn at the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Her expanding international operatic profile includes debuts at Houston Grand Opera as Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking, Madrid’s Teatro Real as Jenny Smith in Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in a new production by the Catalan theatre company, La Fura dels Baus, and the title role of Porgy and Bess with Cincinnati Opera.

Notable concert appearances include Mahler’s Des knaben Wunderhorn conducted by Jaap van Zweden with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi with Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra, and Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra. She has toured with Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the WDR Symphonieorchester in Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder and appeared in Cage’s Aria under Michael Tilson Thomas with YouTube Symphony at Carnegie Hall, and in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for Gustavo Dudamel’s inaugural concert as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Her solo first recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Surprise (2007), garnered a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year. Among her many recordings is William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, a multiple Grammy-winning performance with the orchestra and chorus of the University of Michigan conducted by Leonard Slatkin for Naxos.

JI WEI, Zheng

Ji Wei, a virtuoso of the zheng (a traditional Chinese zither), is currently an Associate Professor at the Central Conservatory of Music and has performed at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and internationally in such venues as New York’s Lincoln Center, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Venice’s Le Fenice, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Zurich Opera House. As an orchestral soloist, she has appeared with the China National Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic, and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra on such occasions as the Venice International Music Festival and the Beijing Music Festival. As a chamber musician and a specialist in contemporary music, she has performed with the Nieuw Ensemble and the Atlas Ensemble in the Netherlands.

Ji is not only active on the world music stage, but also in charity work. She has served as an ambassador for the China Foundation of Poverty Alleviation. A dedicated educator, she has published teaching manuals and conducts master classes on a regular basis.


A violinist whose career has spanned the globe for 27 years, Cho-Liang Lin was born in 1960 in Hsinchu, Taiwan and began playing violin at age 5. Recognizing that he needed to pursue his violin studies abroad, he made his way to Australia when he was only 12 years old. After three years in Sydney, his precocious musicianship led him to the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay.

Lin made his public debut in New York City at the age of 19, playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 at Avery Fisher Hall. Since then, he has appeared with virtually every major orchestra in the world, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. He has more than twenty recordings to his credit, ranging from the concertos of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, and Prokofiev, to Christopher Rouse and Tan Dun, as well as chamber music by Schubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Ravel. His recording partners include Yefim Bronfman, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Isaac Stern and Helen Huang. His critically acclaimed recordings have won Gramophone’s Record of the Year award and several Grammy nominations. A member of the Juilliard School faculty since 1991, he also began teaching at Rice University in 2006, Lin has been the music director of La Jolla SummerFest in California since 2001, and artistic director for Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival since 2011. An avid chamber musician, Lin appears at the Beijing Music Festival, as well as his perennial appearances performing at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Aspen Music Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

LIU SHEN, Boy soprano

Born in 2000, Liu Shen has already made his mark on China’s burgeoning music scene starring roles in the China premieres of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde and John Blow’s Venus and Adonis. He has also been featured in solo roles in new Chinese operas, notably The Village Teacher (2009) at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. In 2012, Liu traveled to France, giving recitals at the L’Oratoire du Louvre, Paris and Eglise Saint-Sauveur, La Rochelle on invitation by UNESCO.

From an early age, Liu has won numerous awards for his outstanding musicianship. A member of the Children’s Choir affiliated to the China National Symphony Orchestra and a pupil at the Beijing No. 4 Junior High School, Liu has also appeared in professional operatic productions in China, from Turandot (directed by Zhang Yimou at the Beijing Olympic Stadium), Carmen, to Tosca. Liu has made two solo recordings; he is currently a scholarship recipient of the Wang Sen Fund for Distinguished Musical Talents.


Born in Shanghai, Yijie Shi began his vocal studies in his native city and graduated with the highest honors at the Toho College of Music in Tokyo before pursuing studies in Graz. In 2007, he won the International Singing Competition “Ferruccio Tagliavini” in Graz, the International Competition for Singers “Toti dal Monte” in Treviso, the “International Singing Competition of “Festspielstadt Passau” and the International Singing Competition “Maria Caniglia” in Sulmona. Shi caught the opera world’s attention in 2008 at the Rossini Opera Festival in the role of Cavalier Belfiore in Il viaggio a Reims. The following year, he returned to the same festival in the title role in Le Comte Ory.

Despite his relative youth, Yijie Shi has already had tremendous success singing at such renowned venues as Rome’s Santa Cecilia, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, La Fenice, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Toulouse’s Théâtre du Capitole, Opéra de Lausanne, to name a few. Shi has worked with such conductors as Roberto Abbado, Kent Nagano, Alberto Zedda, Bruno Bartoletti, Jeffrey Tate, Louis Langrée and Dan Ettinger. During the 2011-12 season, Shi also performed two recitals, including one at the Tokyo’s Opera City Hall.

Upcoming appearances include L’italiana in Algeri (Rossini Opera Festival), Demetrio e Polibio (Teatro San Carlo, Naples), L’elisir d’amore (La Fenice), La Favorite (Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse), Falstaff, L’italiana in Algeri, Der Rosenkavalier, I Pagliacci at Graz Opera and Tancredi (Opéra de Lausanne). Shi will also participate in the world premiere of Xiaogang Ye’s Peony Pavilion in the 2013-14 season.

CHEN-YE YUAN, Baritone

Chen-Ye Yuan developed his craft at the Houston Grand Opera Studio and the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and as an up-and-coming singer was later engaged by both companies. His roles included Germont in La Traviata for San Francisco and Tonio in I Pagliacci, Escamillo in Carmen, Marcello in La Bohème, and Dr. Bhaer in Little Women, the last of which was nationally televised on PBS’s Great Performances and released on CD by Ondine.

Yuan’s clear and supple voice is matched with his facility to portray vastly different characters. The Evening Herald described his Rigoletto with the Welsh National Opera as “outstanding…combining great vocal power with heartfelt emotion.” Yuan has put his stamp on this title role in Houston Grand Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Minnesota Opera, Lyric Opera of San Antonio, Sacramento Opera and Palm Beach Opera.

Among the roles Yuan originated in new operas are Yang Shaoshan in Song of Farewell (by Xiaogang Ye), Cheng Ying in Chinese Orphan, Zhou Luoping in A Village Teacher (both for China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts) and Umeya Shokichi in the 2011 premiere production of Huang Ruo’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen by Opera Hong Kong.

Upcoming engagements include Umeya Shokichi in Dr. Sun Yat Sen with Santa Fe Opera, debuts with Opera Carolina as Michele/Schicchi in Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi and San Diego Opera as Chou En-lai in Nixon in China. Later this year, Yuan will premiere Pulitzer-Prizewinning composer Zhou Long’s Nine Odes at the Beijing Music Festival, also Xiaogang Ye’s new opera, Peony Pavilion, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, where he recently appeared in the title role in Nabucco.


The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in December 2012, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season and acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik was appointed Principal Pops Conductor in November 2012. The DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with chart-topping musicians from Smokey Robinson to Kid Rock. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922 when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.


The New York Choral Society, founded in 1958, has become known for the quality of its performances and the diversity of its repertoire, with 11 world premieres, including commissioned works by Paul Alan Levi, Morton Gould, Stephen Paulus, and Robert De Cormier. Its 2013-2014 season includes Holst’s Hymn of Jesus and the New York premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s The Singing Rooms with acclaimed violinist Jennifer Koh.

The NYCS has performed with the New York Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, and the New York City Ballet, among others. The chorus has performed under conductors Leonard Bernstein, Sergiu Comissiona, Dennis Russell Davies, Placido Domingo, Lukas Foss, Jahja Ling, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Yehudi Menuhin, Steven Mercurio, John Nelson, Daniel Oren, Robert Page, Julius Rudel, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, Michael Tilson Thomas, Emmanuel Villaume, Roger Wagner, and Hugh Wolff.

The NYCS has performed in Italy, France, Austria, Greece, Mexico, the former Yugoslavia, Israel, and the Czech Republic. In 2008 the chorus traveled to Beijing to perform three concerts in the Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival.


China’s Central Conservatory of Music was founded in 1950 by merging together five other music institutions and university music departments that had already been in existence before the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. As an institution of higher learning focused on training outstanding music talents, the Central Conservatory is the only institution listed in the government-approved “211 project” among all academies of fine arts in China.

The Central Conservatory of Music consists of departments of Musicology, Composition, Conducting, Piano, Voice and Opera, Orchestral Instruments, and Traditional Chinese Musical Instruments, Institute of Music Education, Orchestra Academy, and Music Science and Technology Centers (including electro-acoustic music, music therapy, violin making, and voice research). As one of the key Institutes of Humanities and Social Science of the Ministry of Education, the Central Conservatory also runs under its auspices a College of Music Education for Distant Learning, a College of Continuing Education College, as well as affiliated Primary and Middle Schools.


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