Under the auspices of China Radio, Film and Television Bureau, the China Philharmonic Orchestra was established on May 25, 2000, on the basis of the former China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. Hu En is the President, Long Yu is the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor.
The founding of the CPO marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of symphonic music in China and also the incorporation of the classical music performance in China into the family of the top musical events in the world. In line with the standard world practice, the CPO contracts its players from both China and other parts of the world. With its unswerving commitment to quality and determined efforts, it now ranks among the largest and most promising orchestras in Asia.
On December 16, 2000, the China Philharmonic Orchestra gave a highly acclaimed inaugural concert in Beijing under the baton of its artistic director, Long Yu. The CPO's first season ran from September 2001 to July 2002, during which it offered a repertoire of different genres and styles from different periods. Among the highlights are the world premier of the Philip Glass’ Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, performances of Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, and China premiers of Hector Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust and Du Mingxin's Symphonic Peking Opera Female Generals from Yang Family, commissioned by the CPO.
In the past few years, the CPO’s achievement is also demonstrated by its successful cooperation with more than a few prominent musicians both domestic and overseas. Among them are Krzysztof Penderecki, Charles Dutoit, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Okko Kamu, Sir Mark Elder, Claus Peter Flor, Muhai Tang, Lan Shui, Lang Lang, Yndi Li, Mikhail Pletnev, Emanuel Ax, Kun Woo Paik, Anatol Ugorski, Gerhard Oppitz, Gary Graffman, Itzhak Perlman, Nigel Kennedy, Augustin Dumay, Sara Chang, Cho-Liang Lin, Mischa Maisky, Josef Silverstein, Jian Wang, Sabine Mayer, Placido Domingo, Renée Fleming and Cheryl Studer.
The CPO made recordings for Deutsche Gramophone under Long Yu's direction. Among them are Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture and Schoenberg's orchestration of Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G minor, Chinese orchestral works and the Piano Concerto Yellow River with Lang Lang.