In an historic collaboration, the WFMT Radio Network in Chicago presents the first broadcast series of a Chinese orchestra to U.S. radio audiences starting in January 2017. Host Hoyt Smith, of KDFC San Francisco, and Maestro Long Yu present the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) alongside an all-star line-up of soloists, including Lang Lang, Maxim Vengerov, Yo-Yo Ma, Yujia Wang and Christian Tetzlaff. Guest conductors include Zubin Mehta, Sir Andrew Davis, Osmo Vänskä, Daniele Gatt and Paavo Järvi. Culminating in highlights from the inaugural Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, the final SSO broadcast in this 13-part series will present the $100,000 grand prize-winning performance of the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1. The series also offers performances from the orchestra’s pioneering young artists program, the Shanghai Orchestra Academy, operated by the SSO in partnership with musicians from the New York Philharmonic.
The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has a history of firsts: it was Asia’s first symphony orchestra, and gave the Asian premieres of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and more — many of the giants in classical music. Long Yu has served as Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony since 2009, and regularly appears as a guest conductor with orchestras around the world.
About the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) uses music to communicate, connect and engage with audiences around the world. The symphony believes that music – when expressed in its essence – is an entirely different form of communication – a fourth way for humans to communicate – beyond just the written word, spoken language and body expression. This music communicates in a language that crosses all ethnic, social, cultural and emotional boundaries.
As Asia’s oldest orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra brought Western classical music to China. Today, it remains a world-class orchestra which attracts internationally renowned artists while it still retains its Chinese essence: the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is a beacon of culture and arts for the city of Shanghai.
Since September 2014, the Orchestra has been in residence at the recently-completed Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall, and on tour, the Orchestra performed Chinese works in renowned venues including the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Carnegie Hall and Wiener Musikverein. Some of the best-known modern musical works such as John Corigliano’s “One Sweet Morning”, Chen Qigang’s “Butterfly in Love with Flowers” and Tan Dun’s “The Map” and “Nu Shu” have been premiered by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
Among the Orchestra’s programs is the Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA), established through the intercontinental cooperation of the New York Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music. The program provides emerging musicians with an internationalized platform to perform and practice, training them to become eminent performing artists in the premiere orchestras around the world. Another project of the SSO is the biennial Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, Shanghai’s first world-class violin competition, launched in 2016. This Competition commemorates the musical spirit of Maestro Stern by which a young generation of musicians can be inspired and motivated.
About the Host – Hoyt Smith of KDFC San Francisco
Setting his sights on a career in broadcast at an early age, KDFC Morning personality Hoyt Smith found his first opportunity on radio at age 14 as a freshman in high school at the campus station. Later at San Diego State, Smith signed on with that campus’ student radio station and a year later joined San Diego’s new NPR affiliate, KPBS-FM. There he learned the basics of classical announcing as well as news and public affairs. Simultaneously, Smith landed a job at pop station KARL-FM in nearby Carlsbad, California and as an adult personality at AM radio station KFMB in San Diego. On a visit home to see family in San Francisco, Smith took a tour of innovative FM station K-101 and three weeks later landed his first fulltime job. Since then he has skipped around the Bay Area radio dial working for two NBC affiliates and after a brief stint as morning host and Program Director in Portland, came back in 1984 to Adult Contemporary station KLOK-FM. Brown Broadcasting bought KLOK-FM in 1987 and launched the nation’s second Smooth Jazz station, KKSF, where Smith hosted afternoons for nearly a dozen years. Classical music called to him again in 1999 when asked to host afternoons on KDFC. He has hosted the Morning Show on Classical KDFC since 2003. Readers of San Francisco Magazine have voted him “Favorite Bay Area Radio Host” four years in a row. Most recently Hoyt has been named to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, Class of 2016.