China NCPA Orchestra is the resident orchestra of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Beijing. Established in March 2010, the orchestra performs in more than a dozen opera productions presented by its home venue every year as well as in regular orchestral concerts in its own season.
Artists associated with the orchestra included Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Myung-Whun Chung, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Fabio Luisi, Lang Lang, Stephen Kovacevich, Leo Nucci, and Yuja Wang, among many others. Lorin Maazel worked closely with the orchestra before his passing and praised the musicians for their “amazing professionalism and great passion in music”.
The orchestra has gained critical acclaim for its performances in NCPA’s opera productions of not only classical repertoire works such as Tosca, Die Fledermaus, Lohengrin, Aida, Nabucco, but also newly commissioned works like The Chinese Orphan andThe Rickshaw Boy. In its own orchestral concert season, it has consistently presented creative and diverse programmes. Their performance of the mammoth Ring without Words with its creator, Lorin Maazel, was released on SONY Classics worldwide, the only recording the great maestro ever made with a Chinese orchestra. The orchestra has also explored extensively in contemporary music. It gave the Chinese premieres of works by Toru Takemitsu and Giya Kancheli, et al, and the world premieres of many works by Michael Gordon, and Augusta Read Thomas, et al.
The NCPA Orchestra has flexed its wings on the international stage, receiving widespread international praise for its performances at the Kissingen Summer Music Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and concerts in many cities in Germany, as well as in Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Daegu, Abu Dhabi, Taipei and Macau. During the 2014/15 season, the orchestra undertook its first North American tour, where it performed in 7 major cities in the US and Canada, under the baton of LÜ Jia. Musical America praised its “joyful confidence and youthful strength”. Concerto Net described it “a polished, first rate ensemble”.