Shao-Chia Lü

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Since 2010 Shao-Chia Lü is Music Director of the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra. His imaginative programing and his conducting at the highest musical level have allowed the orchestra to obtain great international recognition. Their first concerts in China 2012 and a tour in Europe 2013 were greeted everywhere with enthusiasm. Their success continued during their first tour of North America in December 2016 and once again in Europe where the orchestra performed in five countries in March 2017. In the last three years Shao-Chia Lü has also been the Music Director of the Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester in Denmark.

His debut as a concert conductor took place in 1994 with the Munich Philharmonic. Ever since he has conducted regularly many leading European orchestras such as the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Santa Cecilia Roma, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphonic, the Norwegian and Swedish Radio orchestras, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre National d’Ile de France, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the Museum Orchestra Frankfurt and the Dortmund Philharmonic.

In recent years, Shao-Chia Lü has increased his activities in Asia. His debuts with the China Philharmonic, the Shanghai Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic were all major successes. In the summer of 2017 he will conduct Tristan and Isolde in Beijing, premiered under Sir Simon Rattle at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, co-produced with the Met and Opera Beijing. He also performed with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan and New Japan Philharmonic as well as with the Seoul Philharmonic and the KBS Symphony Orchestra in South Korea.

In 1995, he began his opera career as first Kapellmeister at the Komische Oper Berlin. Many guest appearances followed, among others at the Australian Opera Sydney, the English National Opera, the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Norske Opera in Oslo, the Gothenburg Opera, the Frankfurt Opera, Staatsoper Hamburg, Staatsoper Stuttgart as well as at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 1998, he became General Music Director of both the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz and the Koblenz Theatre. From 2001 to 2006 he assumed the position of General Music Director at the Staatsoper Hannover. The critics highly praised his sensitive, dramatic and profound interpretation of his many opera productions. His repertoire includes Aida, Otello, Ernani, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, La Bohème, Le Nozze di Figaro, Fidelio, Parsifal, Die Walküre, Tristan und Isolde, Der fliegende Holländer, Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra, Salome, Katia Kabanova, Jenufa, Věc Makropoulos and Wozzeck. In the summer of 2004, he and the ensemble of the Staatsoper Hannover were singled out for special praise for the performance of Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande in the renowned festivals of Vienna and Edinburgh.

The Taiwan-born conductor Shao-Chia Lü studied music in Taipei, later at the Indiana University in Bloomington, USA and also at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. His training was topped off with three important first prizes at important international conductor competitions: the Concours international de jeunes chefs d’orchestre in Besançon, France, the Concorso Internazionale per Direttori d’Orchestra „Antonio Pedrotti“ in Trento, and the Kirill Kondrashin Competition in Amsterdam.

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„Tristan und Isolde“ in Peking

Grosser Erfolg für die Baden-Badener Osterfestspiel-Produktion „Tristan und Isolde“ nun auch in Peking. Das chinesische Publikum war begeistert. Damit endet eine lange Reise dieser Inszenierung von Mariusz Treliński. Zu sehen war die Neuinszenierung an der The Metropolitan Opera, am Warschauer Teatr Wielki – Opera Narodowa und nun eben auch am National Center for the Performing Arts in Peking. Festspielhaus-Intendant Andreas Mölich-Zebhauser und sein chinesischer Kollege Chen Ping wollen auch in Zukunft über gemeinsame Projekte nachdenken.
„Tristan“-Cast im Reich der Mitte: Dirigent: ShaoChia Lü 呂紹嘉; Isolde: Ann Petersen; Tristan: Jay Hunter Morris; Kurwenal: Thomas Gazheli.

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Facebook 08.09.2017


Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in Orange County, California, December 2016

The Taiwan Philharmonic, founded in 1986, is scarcely older than its Chinese counterpart, yet it seemed to have a much deeper connection with the ethos and traditions of Western classical music. I would attribute a lot of this to its excellent Viennese- and American-trained conductor, Shao-Chia Lü, whose physical motions were far more expressive and flowing than those of Yu, and whose ability to get a wealth of nuances and charged-up fervor from his players made a big difference. ..Here Lii got them to play above their heads in a stunning performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, creating suspense in even the most predictable spots with strategic pacing and shaping of climaxes, sharp rhythms, and all kinds of subtle internal details. That’s how you make the overplayed Fifth sound like the great symphony it is.

Richard S. Ginell American Record Guide, March/April 2017



Lü wird vom Publikum in der Rhein-Mosel-Halle warmherzig begrüßt, als er für Sergej Rachmaninows sinfonische Dichtung „Die Toteninsel“ ans Pult tritt. Nach wenigen Takten schon ist erkennbar, was schon damals an dem aus Taiwan stammenden Weltbürger gefiel: die Geschmeidigkeit seines Dirigats; die eindeutige, impulsstarke Taktstock-Führung mit der rechten Hand; das fast verspielte Flirren, mit dem die linke Farben und Atmosphären motiviert. […] Bei der von Arnold Böcklins gleichnamigen Gemälde inspirierten „Toteninsel“ wird dieses Wollen zu einem Fest allemal durchhörbarer Nuancen. Fein abgezirkelte Lautstärke-Balance zwischen den Stimmen formt mystische Momente aus. […] Lü lässt das Zornbild des Jüngsten Gerichts machtvoll aufscheinen, verwehrt ihm aber hemmungslose Entfesselung. […] Dass aber selbst in der Rauschhaftigkeit des Finales Berlioz’ Komposition durchhörbar bleibt, darf exemplarisch dafür stehen, dass wir einen denkwürdigen Konzertabend erlebt haben.

Andreas Pecht, Rhein-Zeitung, 30.01.2017


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.

Neil Schore


Taiwan Philharmonic (National Symphony Orchestra) in Geneva, November 2013

…the Taiwan Philharmonic returned to Europe for performances in Paris, Milan, Udine, Geneva and Berlin… 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,


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

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