Performance Saturday, July 22, 2017 | 8 PM

National Youth Orchestra of China

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The driving beat of taigu drumming, an African American spiritual quoted by a Czech master, and a beloved Russian concerto are featured in the inaugural performance of the National Youth Orchestra of China, a new ensemble launched this summer that brings together many of the country's finest young players. Zhou Long’s The Rhyme of Taigu depicts the energetic pulse of the Japanese taiku, or “fat drum” (taigu in Chinese) in vibrant orchestral colors. Dvořák’s fascination with Native American music and African American spirituals takes flight in his sweetly lyrical “New World” Symphony, while Tchaikovsky’s magnificent concerto is a richly romantic showpiece with pianistic pyrotechnics and soaring melodies.


  • National Youth Orchestra of China
  • Ludovic Morlot, Conductor
  • Yuja Wang, Piano


  • ZHOU LONG The Rhyme of Taigu
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1
  • DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"


  • National Youth Orchestra of China

    The first annual National Youth Orchestra of China (NYO-China) is proud to present 105 of China's most talented young instrumentalists in the orchestra's international debut concert. Inspired by Carnegie Hall's own National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO-China provides Chinese musicians access to the same exceptional education and performance model developed by its American counterpart. Members train under the finest classical musicians from around the world and then showcase their honed talents as an orchestra during a historic bi-continental concert tour. Students were selected through a competitive and egalitarian online audition process. To ensure that no excellent musician is ever turned away for lack of funds, the entire program--including housing, tuition, and travel--is free of charge.

    Two weeks ago, these students came together and sat down for their first rehearsal as an ensemble at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. Since then, they have been immersed in an intensive program of rehearsals, sectionals, master classes, and more under the direction of Maestro Ludovic Morlot, artistic director Jindong Cai, and a group of world-class teaching artists. After its Carnegie Hall performance, the orchestra embarks on a three-city concert tour of China.

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  • Ludovic Morlot

    Ludovic Morlot is a bright star among a new generation of international conductors, serving as the principal conductor of the Seattle Symphony and a frequent guest conductor of the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. In early June 2017, he made his Berliner Philharmoniker debut alongside mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. As conductor of the Seattle Symphony, Mr. Morlot has won two Grammy Awards. Prior to his tenure at the Seattle Symphony, he served as the conductor-in-residence at the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL) under David Robertson from 2002 to 2004, where he led ONL's two youth orchestras. Beyond his duties at the Seattle Symphony, Mr. Morlot is also the chair of orchestral conducting studies at the University of Washington. As conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of China (NYO-China), he leads the ensemble through its international debut performance at Carnegie Hall and in concert venues throughout China. As a highly celebrated conductor with an enduring interest in working with students, Mr. Morlot's participation in the project provides NYO-China's members the opportunity to play under one of the world's best.

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  • Yuja Wang

    Yuja Wang is one of the world's most sought-after pianists and was named Musical America's 2017 Artist of the Year. Born in Beijing, Ms. Wang started playing the piano at the age of six; only one year later, she began studying at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In 2001, she was named a Steinway Artist and in 2002, she began studying with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Among her many other accolades are the 2006 Gilmore Young Artist Award, the 2009 Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award, and the 2011 ECHO Klassik Young Artist of the Year Award. Her virtuosity in live concerts has also transferred to popularity online, with her performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" at the Verbier Festival being viewed more than 4.5 million times on YouTube (just to name one example). Her impeccable technique, intelligent musical interpretations, and indelible star power make Ms. Wang an inspiration to young musicians not only in China, but around the world.

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At a Glance

This concert presents works from the late 19th and early 21st centuries that integrate folk traditions of their respective countries into symphonic structures. Two of these represent a double fusion: Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony incorporates African American spirituals as well as the composer’s native Bohemian music; Zhou Long recreates an ancient Chinese drumming style that merged with a later Japanese tradition, bringing both into the concert hall. Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto—one of the most popular virtuoso concertos in the repertory—is based, in part, on Russian folk motifs, especially in its propulsive finale.
Program Notes
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The NYO-USA and NYO-China performances at Carnegie Hall are proudly supported by ICBC U.S. Region.
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