skip navigation | text only | accessibility | site map
About the Company
The Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra (GSO) was one of the first orchestras founded after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Since its inaugural season in 1957, the GSO has become one of the country's most prestigious orchestras. Currently under the leadership of artistic director Long Yu (artistic director of the China Philharmonic and Beijing Music Festival), the GSO has performed alongside many of the world's leading artists, including Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Lang Lang and Sarah Chang either at its home - the acoustically splendid Xinghai Concert Hall - or on tour.

A versatile orchestra both on the concert platform and in the theater pit, the GSO has collaborated with numerous ballet and opera companies including the Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Australian Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, English National Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, and Opera Hong Kong. Its repertoire ranges from Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Coppelia to The Tales of Hoffman, Carmen, Werther, and La Traviata.

Since 1990, the GSO has made appearances at more than 20 renowned music festivals in the region, including the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Macau International Music Festival, and Beijing Music Festival. In October 1998, its performance of La Bohéme was praised as “a shining star” at the inaugural Beijing Music Festival. “It was the best sound I ever heard from a Chinese orchestra,” Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki remarked. The GSO also participated in the China premiere of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 in October 2002, at the opening concert of the 5th Beijing Music Festival.

The GSO maintains a busy touring schedule and has actively supported Chinese new music. In November 2001, the GSO toured Europe and presented works by Chen Yi and Zhou Long at such landmark venues as the Musikverein (Vienna) and Brucknerhaus (Linz). The GSO returned to Europe with Mischa Maisky as soloist in December 2003, including in the tour program Chen Qigang's Iris dévoilée. On that tour, the Orchestra performed at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees (Paris), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), and in Luxemburg. In the past season, the GSO also made its debut in Sydney, Auckland, and Wellington.