Harbin Symphonic Orchestra
Harbin Symphony Orchestra is a century-old orchestra having strong strength. Its predecessor was Harbin Eastern Railway Symphony Orchestra composed chiefly of Russian immigrants in 1908, once known as the first Far East symphony orchestra in 1920s to 1930s, later it is nicknamed old ‘Harbin Symphony’ by the music circle. Harbin Symphony Orchestra has added color with its own charm to activities like all large-scale variety shows held in various countries and cities, Harbin Summer Concert and conducting cultural exchange with other countries. In 100 years, Harbin Symphony Orchestra has made outstanding contributions to the development of China symphony and building of famous Harbin musical and cultural city.
Since 1930s, the orchestra has participated in performances in ‘Ivan Susanin’, ‘Queen of Spades’, ‘Carmen’, ‘Madama Butterfly’ and other operas. From 1959 to date, it has performed in nearly one hundred operas such as ‘Camille’, ‘Peddlers and Miss’, ‘Sister Jiang’, ‘Cry into Air’, ‘Ahn Joong Keun’ and ‘Eight Women Die a Martyr’ created and rehearsed by Harbin Opera House.
The orchestra has successively invited Li Delun, Zheng Xiaoying, Li Xincao, Wu Lingfen, Huang Feili, Shi Shucheng, Tan Lihua, Wang Enti, Wang Yongji, Zhang Chunhe, Hu Yongyan and other famous domestic conductors, and foreign conductors like Porter, Richard Pontzious, Rzayev and Peter Foucault, to make cooperation and perform. Many renowned pianists like Horsford and Dickens from United States, Michelle from France and Hans Mueller from Germany. The orchestra has ever cooperated with violinists to make performances.
In recent years, the orchestra has successively taken visits to Russia, Denmark, Austria, Greece and other countries, with excellent performances on tours in domestic first- and second-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Zhaoqing, obtaining widespread praise from home and abroad.
Harbin Symphony Orchestra and Russian artists have been inextricably linked because of historical heritage and geographical relations. In concert, the orchestra often cooperates with Russian conductors and artists to play the symphony works of Russian composers like Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Sergey Prokofiev, Karin Melnikov, Aram llilch Khatchaturian, in addition to playing many famous foreign composers’ works like Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Bizet, Brahms, Offenbach, John and Strauss’s works, and a large number of excellent Chinese symphonic works. Harbin Symphony Orchestra with extensive experiences in symphony performances and opera accompaniment has formed intense, broad, delicate and elegant playing style by its excellent comprehensive ability in the long-term artistic practice.
Today, Harbin Symphony Orchestra assembling more than 80 outstanding performers represents the music development level in Heilongjiang. The members include Sun Shenghan, principal conductor of Harbin Symphony Orchestra, Liu Keji, honorary conductor of Harbin Symphony Orchestra, Chen Xiaosheng, president and art director of Harbin Opera House, Li Fuyi, vice-president and music director of Harbin Opera House. The head of Harbin Symphony Orchestra is Cui Tiening, the deputy head is Cheng Yuchen, the currently principal conductor is Yan Chipeng (national first-class conductor), the conductor is Fang Zaifu, and the chiefs are Zhou Pengsong and Zhang Jingfeng.
Conductor Ke-ji Liu
Conductor Liu Keji was born in Tianjin and grew up in Beijing. He received music education in the middle school attached to Central Conservatory of Music and in the Central Conservatory of Music, and he is the student of our older generation conductors, Huang Lifei and Qiuli. Engaging in the conductor work for over 30 years, Mr. Liu Keji has successively conducted more than thirty operas and over fifty sets of symphonic concerts with various styles. He also has conducted hundreds of large-scale choral works such as ‘Chorus of Yellow River’, symphonic chorus of ‘Five Poems of Mao Zedong’, ‘A Little Spark Makes A Great Fire’ and ‘Ode to the Motherland’. He often cooperates with musicians from Russian, United States, France and Korea to perform, and he has been invited as a visiting scholar to the United States by United States Information Agency, to Russian guest conductor symphony concert for many times, and he has taken up the post of judge in many international and national music competitions.
Mr. Liu Keji, the first class national conductor, has enjoyed the particular subsidy by the State Council all his life, and he is now the vice-president of Harbin Federation of Literary and Art Circles and the president of Harbin City Musicians Association.