Artistic Director and Chief Conductor
After studying "Conducting" in Beijing and many years of international concert activity, PANG Ka-Pang graduated from the MDW in Vienna with a diploma in "Opera Conducting" in 2013. PANG draws inspiration from both Chinese and Western culture in his musical activities. He drives the research and development of Chinese symphonic music, and with his commitment is directly and actively involved in the creation process of an originally Chinese opera and orchestral tradition. In PANG's words: “An orchestra lives from new works. Every commissioned work takes us to a new level."
PANG Ka-Pang gets inspired by both Chinese and Western culture. With his commitment he is directly involved in the development of an original Chinese opera and orchestral tradition, and received approval and acclamation for the musical direction of the Chinese opera "Wilderness" at the First Chinese Opera Festival as well as the Italian opera "La Traviata" at the Second Chinese Opera Festival.
ZHU Changyao is an Erhu virtuoso, composer and artistic advisor to the Suzhou Chinese Orchestra. He is the chairman of the Musicians Association of Jiangsu Province.
He started learning to play the Erhu at the age of seven and was admitted to the music department of Nanjing University of the Arts in 1973. In 1991, Zhu Changyao was awarded the Prize for Literature and Art of Jiangsu Province, and in the same year, he received a government scholarship for life.
ZHU Changyao teaches as a visiting professor at the Chinese Conservatory of Music at Nanjing University Art Institute, Southeast University in Nanjing and Nanjing Normal University.
As an inspiring artist, ZHU Changyao has travelled to the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, Japan and other countries, and has received great acclaim from the international audience.
The Suzhou Chinese Orchestra was founded in 2017 with the support of the City of Suzhou and the Suzhou New District Hi-Tech Zone. Thus, under the direction of conductor PANG Ka-Pang an excellent orchestra has been established, which first and foremost aims to continue the musical traditions of southern China, whose origins lie in the instruments of the Jiangnan region ("south of the stream", the lower reaches of the Yangtze River).
The ensemble of the orchestra, which in total comprises more than 90 musicians, consists of experienced instrumentalists and top graduates from ten Chinese conservatories. The repertoire ranges from adaptations of traditional classics to new compositions that have been commissioned.
The orchestra's instrumentation with string, plucked and wind instruments of Chinese tradition in combination with instruments from European classical music such as cello, harp and bass violin is reflected in the characteristic charm of its tone colour.This is where PANG Ka-Pang's responsibility as a conductor is based: "A conductor recognizes the variety of instruments and feels the sound possibilities."
In addition to the concert hall, the forward-looking project furthermore offers space for concert rehearsals and training on the instrument. The concert hall also stands for musical and cultural exchange and is open for guest performances of other orchestras and ensembles from China and around the world.