In 1995, he began his opera career as Erster Kapellmeister at the Komische Oper Berlin. Numerous guest performances followed, including the Australian Opera, the English National Opera, the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the opera houses of Frankfurt, Hamburg and Stuttgart as well as the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 1998, Shao-Chia Lü took over the position of General Music Director of both the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz and the Koblenz Theatre.
Shao-Chia Lü, as General Music Director of the Staatsoper Hannover between 2001 and 2006, has established himself firmly as an opera conductor through numerous outstanding performances during this period of such repertoire as Aida, Ernani, Le nozze di Figaro, Jenufa, Vec Makropulos, Fidelio, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Tristan und Isolde, Der fliegende Holländer, Wozzeck, Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra and Salome. In the summer of 2004, Shao-Chia Lü and the Staatsoper Hannover earned international recognition by performing Pelléas et Mélisande at the renowned Vienna and Edinburgh Festivals.
Shao-Chia Lü’s recent opera engagements include Parsifal, Katja Kabanova and Tosca in Göteborg, Sweden, La fanciulla del West in Stuttgart, Eugene Onegin at the Komische Oper Berlin, Madama Butterfly, Tosca and La Bohème in Sydney and Melbourne.
Alongside his opera activities, Shao-Chia Lü is equally at home on concert podiums. In 1994, he had his debut with the Münchner Philharmoniker by replacing Sergiu Celibidache at the last moment for two unchanged programms (including Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8). The triumph of these concerts brought him several further invitations from this orchestra. Apart from the Münchner Philharmoniker, Lü has worked repeatedly with many leading European orchestras such as the Oslo Philharmonic, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Norwegian and Swedish Radio Orchestras, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Göteborg Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the SWR Stuttgart, the Rundfunksinfonieorchester Berlin, the Staatskapelle Weimar and the Frankfurter Museumsorchester. In November 2011, Shao-Chia Lü made his much acclaimed debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. In Asia, after his debut with the New Japan Philharmonic in December 2012, Shao-Chia Lü was invited to conduct the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra, among others, during the 2013/2014 season.
Verdi, Otello in Taipei, Juli 2016
One does not normally attend an Otello production to hear the orchestra, but this one was different. In his mere 7 years at the helm, music director Shao-Chia Lü has brought the National Symphony Orchestra to world-class status. The sound alone is a marvel – beauteous, richly rounded, perfectly balanced, at times of staggering power yet never forced or brash, the latter a quality found only to the world’s very greatest orchestras….Lü is also a master at pacing. Climaxes were prepared so as to leave no doubt where the grand peaks lay….There was also poetry aplenty. Lü has mastered the secret of how to make his orchestra sound like a single, living organism that breathes as one.
Robert Markow, Der neue Merker 08+09/2016.
Bruckner Symphony No. 8 in Taipei, May 2015
Finally: a satisfying live performance of the Bruckner 8th from beginning to end. Finally!He ❲ Shao-Chia Lü❳ is a passionate conductor and an effective communicator…It was also obvious that Lü is a conductor with fire in his belly…Lü’s style is to maintain energy and tension. He pulled back the tempo a little to mark phrase ends, but never let the line go slack. Indeed, after the great brass outbursts, he typically began the softer sections that followed with quicker rather than slower tempos – just the opposite of the more usual loud goes fast/soft goes slow recipe that passes for interpretation these days.
Taiwan Philharmonic (National Symphony Orchestra) in Geneva, November 2013
…the Taiwan Philharmonic returned to Europe for performances in Paris, Milan, Udine, Geneva and Berlin…..in Geneva magic happened. Taiwan native Shao-Chia Lü, the orchestra’s music director since 2010, proved that hearing this warhorse (Beethoven, Symphony No. 7) even for the 1,000th time can still be an exhilarating ride when it is done with the rhythmic precision, carefully calibrated dynamic contrasts, and solid architectural vision he imposed…
The orchestra’s sound deserves special mention: full, rich, rounded, and well-balanced in the tradition of the best German orchestras. The Taiwan Philharmonic may well be the most European-sounding of the major Asian orchestras…
Robert Markow, American Record Guide March/April 2014
Taiwan Philharmonic (National Symphony Orchestra) in Berlin, November 2013
Der gebürtige Taiwanese Shao-Chia Lü…..darf als musikalischer Kosmopolit gelten… In der Achten von Dvorak aber zeigt sich, was das Orchester an seinem Dirigenten hat: Als Pultvirtuose führt er es souverän durch die Tempi, haucht dem eher kühlen als seidigen Glanz der Streicher Melodiezauber ein und musiziert stimmungsreich und temperamentvoll bis zum trompetenblitzenden Finale.
Sybill Mahlke, Der Tagesspiegel 21.11.2013
A felicitous performance of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 concluded the formal program. Again, conductor Lü consistently drew luscious sounds from all sections of the orchestra, each of which played with a single, unified voice. He brought a light, lyrical touch to the numerous melodies, and exhibited a sure hand in building up with sustained tension the climaxes to the first and fourth movements. The burnished sound from the brass (of the half dozen or so major orchestras in Berlin they would be second only to the brass section of the Berlin Philharmonic); the diaphanous dance rhythms from the strings; the flawless intonation from the woodwinds; and the tight, meticulous execution from the percussion proved beyond doubt that the Taiwan Philharmoni is a first class orchestra.
Earl Arthur Love, ConcertoNet.com
Die „Walküre“ in Taipei, Juli 2013
Musical direction was in the hands of the Taiwanese-born Shao-Chia Lü who has been the National Symphony Orchestra’s music director since August 2010. Lü has acquired something of a reputation as a Puccini specialist (he has conducted all this composer’s operas from Manon Lescaut onward on multiple occasions) but he is equally adept at the German repertory, including much Wagner, having spent considerable time in German houses over the past eigtheen years, particularly in Hannover and Hamburg. Lyricism is at the heart of Lü’s style, and he brought this quality to Die Walküre as well. The result was a fluid, flowing approach, not a ponderous or weighty one…..Strings soared gloriously, woodwinds sang with plangent sweetness, and the brass were suitably noble….the resulting balance between stage and pit was ideal; seldom have I understood so much of the libretto without resorting to surtitles….Lü has modeled the NSO into a world-class orchestra.
Robert Markow, Der neue Merker 08+09/2013