Conductor Long Yu Announces the Creation of a New Music Canon - COMPOSE 20:20
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Conductor Long Yu Announces the Creation of a New Music Canon - COMPOSE 20:20

NEW YORK, Feb. 25, 2015 — (PRNewswire) —  Maestro Long Yu has never been one to shy away from big ideas. Emerging from the barren years of China's Cultural Revolution, he founded a major orchestra (China Philharmonic), which he still leads, alongside the Guangzhou Symphony and the Shanghai Symphony. He built two major music festivals and helped spearhead the innovative Shanghai Orchestra Academy with the New York Philharmonic.

Maestro Long Yu. Credit: Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

His latest idea could be his boldest. This week he launches COMPOSE 20:20, which he calls, "one of the most important projects in my life."

With COMPOSE 20:20 Long Yu will present, by 2020:

A grand attempt to present to both regions an entire canon of the other's new music

Maestro Long Yu inaugurated COMPOSE 20:20 with a performance by Yo-Yo Ma, Wu Tong and the New York Philharmonic of Zhao Lin's Duo last night. He conducted the concerto, for cello and sheng, at the Philharmonic's annual Chinese New Year concert, at Avery Fischer Hall.

"I am more than delighted to have started this major project with my friends at the New York Philharmonic," says Long Yu. "This orchestra and I have worked together a great deal and for me the experience is always wonderful. As an instrument, they are nothing short of magnificent. As players, every one of them is eager to go on an adventure."

Long Yu will bring works by composers such as Qigang Chen, Huang Ruo and Zhao Lin to Western orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony and Munich Philharmonic. And the China Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony and Guangzhou Symphony among others will play Long Yu's choice of Western works.

A website,, will serve as a hub for conversation and interaction, as well as a reference tool for those who may wish to program this music in the future. There will also be a recording.

Maestro Long Yu is Artistic Director and co-founder of the China Philharmonic, Music Director of the Shanghai and Guanzhou Symphony Orchestras, Founding Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival, co-founder of the Shanghai MISA Festival and Principal Guest Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

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Maestro Long Yu