Central Conservatory of Music Chorus (Beijing)
Located at the former Prince Chun's Residence of Qing Dynasty, the Central Conservatory of Music’s beginnings can be traced to 1940, when the National Conservatory of Music was founded. It has merged together with other 5 music institutions and departments of music in Universities in 1950. Moved from Tianjin to Beijing in 1958, it was ranked among the national leading universities in 1960. Currently, it was listed as one of the leading universities in the "211 project" in 2000, the only institution in Academies of Fine Arts in China, and only key institution of higher learning supervised directly under the Ministry of Education of the State Council among all academies of arts in China.
The current enrolled student’s number nearly 1,910 and the teaching and administrative staffs total about 700. Professors and associate professors make up two third of the faculty. Over 30,000 students have graduated from the Conservatory. Many of the graduates are now the musical directors, concertmasters of the symphony orchestras, the core members of music schools, artistic organizations, and research institutes in all parts of China and world, and some of them have been ranked among the eminent Chinese musicians and won the international fames and played important roles in the development of music education in China.
Serving both as a center of music education for training professional musicians and a center of research-composition-performance for developing music education in China, the CCOM has grown into a music institution of high prestige at home and abroad.
The Chorus of the Central Conservatory of Music is composed of outstanding students of the Voice and Opera Department of the Central Conservatory of Music, the Chorus has participated in many important performances and tours. Having toured Singapore in 1989 and attended the National Students’ Art Festival in 1999 and 2001, the chorus has twice won the golden prize in the Chorus Competition. Invited by Maestro Seiji Ozawa in 2002, they joined an opera production of Puccini’s Madam Butterfly in Japan and toured many cities in Japan and China to great acclaim. The chorus also performed Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from Ninth Symphony with London Philharmonic in the Grand Hall of People in 2003 Beijing New Years Concert. The same piece was performed again in China National Grand Theatre’s Opening Concert in 2007. Collaborated with the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, the chorus successfully performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) in the National Centre for the Performing Arts in 2008. In 2010, the Chorus has performed with Tchaikovsky Conservatory of in a joint production of Eugene Onegin in Moscow. Another important event was the performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra in NCPA and the performance of Prokofiev’s Cantata Alexander Nevsky won highly acclaims in 2011.
In recent years, the chorus has appeared in many operas, which include Cosi fan tutte, La Nozze di Figaro, La Boheme, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Carman, La Clememza di Tito, Die Zauberflote, Madam Butterfly, Eugene Onegin.
Many members in the chorus have become well-known concert or opera singers, and some of them have earned international reputations and are very active on music stages at home and abroad.
Conductor Yang Hongnian is China's well-known Conductor and Music Educator and Professor of Conducting at Central Conservatory of Music. He was formerly Vice Chairman of the International Children's Chorus and Performing Arts Association, Board Member of Chinese Musician's Association, Adviser of China Choral Society and China Chorus Union.
Professor Yang has an ardent and bold style. When conducting he adds subtle movements to interpret the music in his vast repertoire. His unique performing art and his music prowess are well admired by musical professionals and educators in China and overseas. He has received praise from the international music community as a "maestro who masters the myth of chorus".
Based on Professor Yang Hongnian's achievements, he was granted the title of "National Exemplary Worker in the Culture System". He was consecutively recommended by the international conductors to be the Vice Chairman of the National Children's Chorus Performing Arts Association. US President Ronald Reagan awarded the highest appreciation Certificate for the children's chorus he conducted while in America. He received the Honorary Citizen of Newark Medal and the Golden Key from Osaka and Bingku County of Japan for his contribution to music.
Yang Hongnian is currently the Founder and Resident Conductor and Art Director of the Children and Young Women's Chorus of the China National Symphony Orchestra, the conductor of Youth Chorus of Central Conservatory of Music, Adjunct Conductor of the Chorus of the China National Symphony Orchestra, Adjunct Art Director of Kunming Symphony Orchestra, Adjunct Conductor Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Adjunct Conductor of Osaka Youth Symphony Orchestra of Japan. Being an influential conductor of international status, he is constantly invited to conduct symphony orchestras, chamber music and chorus concerts. His travels have included trips to the USA, Japan, Singapore, Austria, Australia, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He always receives sensational welcomes.
The Children and Young Women's Chorus, led by Professor Yang, has traveled to America, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Austria, Hungary, German, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In August, 1996, on behalf of the People's Republic of China, the Chorus participated in the 44th International Polyphonic Contest "Guido d' Arezzo" and was awarded 4 prizes, breaking the record for Chorus Competition in history. In 1997, he was the general conductor of the 5th International Children's Chorus Festival. In May of 1999, the children chorus directed by him attended the 200 annual ceremony of Pushkin in Moscow and presented a special performance, which was awarded the only special award. In July of 1999, he conducted the chorus of Xinjiang Normal University at the 38th "Segsitz" International Chorus Competition and his Choirs achieved first place in the mixed group, in the women's group and in the men's group becoming the Chinese conductor who has won the most awards.
In February 2003, the American Choral Directors Association invited Professor Yang and the Children and Young Women's Chorus to participate in concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Riverside Church. Over 9000 conductors from North America and all over the world stood up and applauded the excellent performance of the chorus. In July 2006, he was invited to be an international judge of the Fourth World Choir Games.
In 2008, the China Children’s Choir participated in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Professor Yang accompanied the choir to Bela Bartok International Music Festival in Hungary in 2010; and in 2011 competitions with Grand Prizes in Istanbul International Music Festival in Turkey; and they also took the Grand Prix Award in Saint Petersburg, ‘The Singing World’.
Besides his conducting work, Professor Yang has also composed professional music teaching materials. His book, Treatise on Training the Orchestra won the Chinese Golden Bell Award in China. Professor Yang also wrote Treatise on Training the Children’s Choir and Treatise on Training the Chorus.
Assistant Conductor Yang Li is professor of Conducting Department of the Central Conservatory of Music, Principal Conductor of Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, Conductor of the Children and Young Women‘s Chorus of the China National Symphony Orchestra, and Director and Conductor of Beijing Philharmonic Chorus.
Yang Li was born in a musical family and started learning music since early childhood. In 1990, He graduated from the Conducting Department of Central Conservatory of Music. In 1997, he received an “Artist Diploma” from Stuttgart Conservatory of Music in Germany where he graduated from, and became the first Chinese artist to win the H. von Karajan Foundation scholarship.
Since graduation in 1997, he returned to China and started teaching in the Conducting Department of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Having cooperated with various orchestras and artists, Yang Li has performed a great number of symphonies, chamber music, operas and choral works both in China and abroad.
The Ministry of Culture of Peoples Republic of China awarded the “Wen Hua Prize” to Yang Li for his excellent performance on conducting the opera production “General She Leng”. During the "2006 Busan Choral Festival and Competition", as conductor, he led the Young Women’s Chorus of the China National Symphony Orchestra to win the top awards in both Classical Music Category and Ethnical Music Category. He was also given an award for “Best Conductor”. In 2010, Yang Li led the Beijing Philharmonic Chorus and participated in the 24th Béla Bartók International Choir Competition held in Hungary. The chorus won the first place among Children’s Chorus Category, and the second place in the Youth Category. In July 2011, Beijing Philharmonic Chorus competed in the 2011 Istanbul International Chorus Competition, and was awarded the first place in Children’s Choirs Category, Female Choirs Category and the Grand-Prix. In the following month, the chorus participated in “The Singing World”-The 7th International Choir and Vocal Ensembles Competition in St. Petersburg and won 15 awards including first places in categories of Children’s Choirs and Female Choirs, and Modern Music, as well as the Grand-Prix, Special Prize of Jury and the Best Performance of Y. Falik’s work. Yang Li was awarded the Best Conductor.
Yang Li was selected to be part of the jury of the 3rd Busan International Chorus Festival in November 2007, and the 61st Japan National Chorus Competition in October 2008.
Yang Li has also published academic papers in “Journal of the Central Conservatory of Music”, “Journal of Tianjin Conservatory of Music” and various other professional periodicals.