Co-founded by the City of Suzhou and the Suzhou Industrial Park in 2016, the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra (SZS) has positioned itself as one of China’s most dynamic orchestras. Characterized by experience combined with youth, the musicians of the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra represent and 21 countries/regions across four continents.
Under the stewardship of Music Director CHEN Xieyang and Chief Conductor XU Zhong, the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra has conceived challenging, illuminating and entertaining programs that encompass a broad range of repertoire with stylistic diversity and technical rigor. Since its inception the orchestra has enjoyed prestigious collaboration with such musical luminaries as Roberto Abbado, Daniel Oren, Christof Eschenbach, Christian Arming, Thomas Rösner, John Axelrod, Tan Dun, Bright Sheng, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yundi Li, Jian Wang, He Hui, Guang Yang, Xavier de Maistre, Liwei Qin, Siqing Lv, Feng Ning, Xuefei Yang, among others.
In the 2020-21season the SZS collaborates with Shao-Chia Lv, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Tsung Yeh, Gary Hoffman, and Mantian Feng, among others, featuring several premier musical and cultural events, including the “Beethoven at 250” Series, Mini Baroque Festival, and the world premiere of Silent Sound II by renowned composer Xiaosong Qu, who ends a six-year hiatus with the composition of this concerto for “zhong ruan” and orchestra.. Within its first two seasons the SZS has successfully staged international music competitions that promote artistic dialogue and discover stars of the future, as well as cutting-edge theater productions with creative partners such as the Shanghai Opera House and the Suzhou Ballet Theatre. In 2017 the SZS presented the Jinji Lake International Piano Competition, and in 2018 further pushed the boundaries of symphonic innovation by sponsoring the Jinji Lake International Composition Competition which attracted submissions by composers from over 39 countries. The “Symphony of a Thousand” concert presented at the Suzhou Olympic Center in 2019 added a milestone to the SZS’s impressive resume of hosting large-scale musical events of international calibre. In 2021 the SZS will present the 2nd Jinji Lake International Composition Competition as part of the 100th Anniversary celebration of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.
2017 has taken the SZS to France and Germany, and to Hong Kong and Shanghai for a full agenda of opera and concerts. In 2018 the Orchestra shared its music with audiences in the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore, NTCH Concert Hall in Taipei, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the Kobe International Hall. At the invitation of the Chinese Ambassador to the UN, the SZS gave the first-ever concert celebrating Chinese New Year hosted at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in February 2019. In collaboration with the Jiangsu Grand Theatre in their production of “Diary of John Rabe”, the SZS performed at the Staatsoper Berlin Unter den Linden, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and Ronarcher Theater in Vienna. In May of 2021, the SZS will debut at the 31st Macao Arts Festival in collaboration with the Macao Orchestra.
From its home base – the Jinji Lake Concert Hall designed by world-class acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, the SZS has proven itself a leader in organizing premier musical events and spearheading the education of classical music in Suzhou with fully implemented chamber music series and community engagement programs.
Determined to develop the appreciation of music from the root, the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra remains committed as a culture ambassador and a champion of the arts for Suzhou.