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Muhai Tang came to international recognition when Herbert von Karajan invited him to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in its 1983 subscription series. This success led to repeat appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic and invitations from many of the world's leading orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Staatskapelle Dresden, Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, NDR Hamburg, Sydney Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestras amongst many others.  Since then he has appeared as guest conductor on four continents and has become a favourite with audiences and musicians alike, with an engaging stage presence and graceful and natural technique. He has worked with numerous great artists such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman, Cecilia Bartoli, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Martha Argerich and Anne-Sophie Mutter to name just a few. Muhai has held the position of Chief Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Finnish National Opera, National Orchestra of China, and most recently of the Belgrade Philharmonic and Zurich Chamber Orchestra.  Currently he holds the role of Artistic Director of The Tianjin Grand Opera, The Shanghai Philharmonic and is Conductor Laureate conductor of China National Symphony

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Muhai Tang came to international recognition when Herbert von Karajan invited him to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in its 1983 subscription series. This success led to repeat appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic and invitations from many of the world's leading orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Staatskapelle Dresden, Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, NDR Hamburg, Sydney Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestras amongst many others.  Since then he has appeared as guest conductor on four continents and has become a favourite with audiences and musicians alike, with an engaging stage presence and graceful and natural technique. He has worked with numerous great artists such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman, Cecilia Bartoli, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Martha Argerich and Anne-Sophie Mutter to name just a few.

Muhai has held the position of Chief Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Finnish National Opera, National Orchestra of China, and most recently of the Belgrade Philharmonic and Zurich Chamber Orchestra.  Currently he holds the role of Artistic Director of The Tianjin Grand Opera, The Shanghai Philharmonic and is Conductor Laureate conductor of China National Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Orchestra.

Son of a famous film director in China, Muhai Tang has always been drawn to the musical stage, and has conducted opera on several continents.  In 2015 he became the first Chinese conductor invited to conduct at the Teatro alla Scala di Milano, conducting Rossini`s “Otello” which followed highly acclaimed new production of Rossini’s opera Le Comte Ory in Zurich.  While Chief Conductor of the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki he conduced highly successful new productions of Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Turandot, Der Rosenkavalier and Pique Dame, and also Madame Butterfly, Tosca, La Rondine, Boris Godunov, The Marriage of Figaro, La Traviata, The Barber of Seville and Othello.  His ballet performances with the company included an acclaimed Sacre du Printemps and a new production of Swan Lake.  In 2007 he conducted fully-staged performances of Tan Dun's opera "Tea" with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.

He has an extraordinarily wide repertoire, ranging from Baroque to composers of today.  He completed his tenure as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra in 2014 and continued with them as Principal Guest Conductor.  This has given him an opportunity to explore the chamber orchestra repertoire which has always been close to his heart.  In particular Muhai Tang has received great acclaim for his performances of Joseph Haydn.

Muhai Tang also enjoys working with younger musicians in a mentoring role and has conducted the Shanghai Conservatory Orchestra, where he studied himself and in Berlin as part of the Young Euro Classic Festival in which 17 youth orchestras performed in 17 days. In August 2007 he brought students from the Shanghai Conservatory to collaborate with the German Youth Orchestra, a project culminating in two performances at the Berlin Konzerthaus and then a tour through six major cities of China; this led to a chamber orchestra tour in 2009 and the collaboration continues to this day. Muhai Tang became Conducting Professor and Head of the Conducting Department at the Conservatory in 2007.

Muhai Tang has an extensive discography, and the Guitar Concertos by Tan Dun and Christopher Rouse with Sharon Isbin and the Gulbenkian Orchestra, for Teldec, was awarded a Grammy in 2002.  In 2014 Decca published two DVDs of Zurich Opera’s productions of Rossini’s “Le Comte Ory” and “Otello”.

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Reviews

"Conductor Muhai Tang was a revelation as he elicited unstinting, dramatically informed playing from his instrumentalists. Maestro Tang brought to bear notably fine pacing and exquisite attention to color and detail. He accommodated the soloists effectively, breathing with them, urging them on one minute, indulging them in elastic phrasing the next. The reading was driving yet highly responsive, a consummately controlled performance."

James Sohre, Opera Today

"The Chinese New Year was celebrated in style at the Kennedy Center on Monday night with a visit of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, an 80-member orchestra founded in 1982, and conductor Muhai Tang. Their long program narrowly skirted the “something for everyone” approach, offering instead an evening that satisfied in its unusual variety, touching on both the musical and the theatrical. In conventional Western terms, it was easiest to assess the orchestra in the last piece on the program, a semi-staged, uncredited pastiche from Puccini’s “Turandot.” Here Tang showed himself an experienced opera conductor, and the orchestra responded with a subtle performance that could have graced the pit of any regional opera house in the United States or Europe. Textures ran the gamut from richly atmospheric sensuality to implacable grandeur, with a blended sound that always supported rather than pressed the singers."

Patrick Rucker, The Washington Post

"It is also extremely well conducted by Muhai Tang. He leads with precision and point, and yet in that most exquisite of operatic nocturnes, the great Act 2 Trio, is capable of drawing sounds of rare beauty from the period instruments of the Orchestra La Scintilla."

Richard Osborne, Gramophone

"The 61 year old Chinese conductor has absolutely recommended himself as a Rossini specialist through this premiere performance. The orchestra La Scintilla, which played on historic instruments, sounded so fresh and vivid, lively, chatty, driven. It was really fun to listen to. The public has rewarded the fully successful performance with an enthusiastic applause. "

Elisabeth Schwind, Südkurier

"The conductor Muhai Tang proved to be a crafty Rossini specialist with a clear disposition for spacious developments, able to create a fast narrowing of the narration where appropriate. He conjured the nocturnal atmosphere, filled with erotisism."

Herbert Büttiker, Zürichsee-Zeitung

"It was Muhai Tang’s magnificent musical understanding and insightful conducting that made this performance work...Tang allows Puccini’s decadent orchestral writing to come alive and vibrate in a thousand colours, and he manages to find remarkable dramatic effects, with no trace of eccentricity. And at the same time he made the ensemble react alertly to the occasionally slightly capricious soloists. "

Mats Liljeroos

"Resident conductor Muhai Tang approached this fantastical gem of a piece with appropriate joy and attention to detail. He allowed the leader Willi Zimmermann enough freedom in the Adagio for his exquisite Cantilena and used playful echo effects throughout the Finale...The Zurich Chamber Orchestra provided a an attentive, melodious and well balanced accompaniment."

Sibylle Ehrismann

"Throughout the performance he [Martin Fröst] never lost touch with the orchestra, which, under the direction of Muhai Tang, was a wholly dependable partner… Besides the Nielsen, Tang and his orchestra offered a multifaceted programme of Scandinavian music, with Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Sibelius’ Andante Festivo and the string piece Insula deserta by the Finnish composer Erkki-Sven Tüür… The conductor interpreted the work in typical style; making it exciting and full of contrasting images, and bringing out the sparkling musicianship of his orchestra."

Thomas Schacher

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Discography