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Evergreen Symphony Orchestra

  • Publish Date:2022-05-09
Evergreen Symphony Orchestra

Chinese Name:長榮交響樂團
Time of Establishment: 2001
Location: Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan
Did You Know…?
The Evergreen Symphony Orchestra has been called a young, energetic, united, disciplined, professional, and distinctive orchestra, the only professional symphony orchestra in Taiwan operated by a private corporate body and one of few such examples internationally. Its purpose is to provide a quality performance stage and foster Taiwanese musicians, with a view to cultivating a “musical garden” with Taiwanese characteristics by focusing on setting roots down through the local community as well as looking out at the wider world.

In 2001, the Chang Yung-Fa Foundation invited a number of musicians and internationally renowned artistic advisors to come together to form the 20-member Evergreen Orchestra, which expanded to become the 71-member Evergreen Symphony Orchestra in 2002. The orchestra’s previous music directors are Lim Kek-tjiang and Wang Ya-hui. Since 2007, Prof. Gernot Schmalfuss, guest conductor of the Munich Chamber Soloists, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, has served as music director and chief conductor.

The Evergreen Symphony Orchestra is one of the few international orchestras that has performed with all three of the world’s top tenors: Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, and Placido Domingo. Artists who have collaborated with the ESO over the years include conductors Helmuth Rilling and Michiyoshi Inoue; tenors Andrea Bocelli and Russell Watson; sopranos Angela Gheorghiu and Renee Fleming; violinists Jimmy Lin (林昭亮) and Tseng Yu-chien (曾宇謙); violist Huang Hsin-yun (黃心芸); cellist Yang Wen-sinn (楊文信); pianists G. Opitz and Hu Ching-yun (胡瀞云); and flutist Peter-Lukas Graf.

The Evergreen Symphony Orchestra was nominated for both Best Classical Music Album and Best Performance at the 16th and 17th Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan in 2005 and 2006 respectively. In 2005, the orchestra held its first international music education event, inviting world-renowned violinist Zakhar Bron to Taiwan for a masterclass and concert series. In 2009, they invited four winners of the Premio Paganini international violin competition, Lu Siqing (呂思清), Huang Bin (黃濱), Huang Mengla (黃蒙拉) and Ning Feng (寧峰), to Taiwan to jointly organize a series of music camps to enhance Taiwan’s music culture and keep Taiwan on track with the global music scene. Since 2013, in cooperation with the world-renowned German label CPO, the ESO has released the four symphonies of Antonio Cartellieri and the symphonies of Theodor von Schacht, among which the Cartellieri symphonies have been rated 10 out of 10 by ClassicsToday for their artistic and sound quality.

The Evergreen Symphony Orchestra has also been developing its overseas exposure since 2004, having toured countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, the UK, the USA, Italy, Australia, and China. Their major performances have included performing two concerts at Expo 2010 Shanghai China in September 2010; performing in Seoul and Busan, South Korea, in September 2011 and June 2013 at the invitation of Samsung Heavy Industries; performing at Italy’s Ravenna Festival and Ravello Festival, two of the world’s leading music festivals, in June 2012 by invitation; giving the first performances by a Taiwanese symphony orchestra in the Sydney Opera House and Brisbane City Hall, Australia, in June 2012; performing as part of the 4th and 5th China Orchestra Festivals in 2014 and 2016 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China; celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Evergreen Group with a tour of Taipei, Beijing, Ningbo, and Shanghai in September 2018; and, in September 2019, performing in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre and Hanoi Opera House.

This string of invitations for international performances is a testament to the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra taking its place on the global stage. With the international roots laid by the Evergreen Group’s shipping and air transportation businesses, the ESO hopes to further promote Taiwan’s exquisite art and culture to every corner of the world.