… a musical pearl from the Far East
The Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra has undertaken more international concert tours than any other professional orchestra from Taiwan. Regarded as Taiwan’s classical music ambassador and representative on the international music scene, the orchestra has undertaken in total 20 international concert tours, appearing at international music festivals and concert halls throughout Europe, China, the United States of America and Canada.
The list of concert appearances by the orchestra includes such prestigious music festivals as the Braunschweig Classix Festival (Germany), the White Nights Festival of St Petersburg (Russia), the Warsaw Autumn Contemporary Music Festival (Poland), the Krakow Music Festival Sacrum-Profanum (Poland), the Prague Spring Music Festival (Czech Republic), the Janáček International Music Festival (Czech Republic), the Budapest Music Festival (Hungary), the Stockholm Royal Castle Music Festival (Sweden), the Music Festival Glasperlenspiel (Estonia), the Riga Music Festival (Latvia), the Kaunas Pazaislis Music Festival (Lithuania), the Auvers-sur-Oise Festival (France), the Sully International Music Festival (France), and the Shanghai World Expo (China), to name but a few.
The venues where the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra has performed have included renown concert-halls such as the St Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, the Moscow Performing Arts Center, the Budapest Liszt Concert Hall, Stockholm’s Berwald Concert Hall, Helsinki’s Finlandia Hall, and Helsinki Rock Church, the Grieg Concert Hall in Bergen (Norway), Estonia Concert Hall, the Kennedy Performing Arts Center (Washington, DC), and the famous Musikverein in Vienna.
A large number of the musicians of the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra have been trained at some of Europe’s, and the United States’ leading music institutions. This high level of musicianship has been frequently praised. The Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra considers it as its mission to improve the appreciation of modern music, and has forged relationships with composers from a number of country’s, among them Estonian composer Peeter Vähi, the renown Finnish conductor and composer Leif Segerstam, Yiu-kwong Chung from China and others.
The Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra’s first principal chief conductor and artistic director was the American conductor Henry Mazer, a former Associate Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Mazer dedicated over 15 years to the artistic growth of the orchestra. The orchestra’s first concert appearance in the United States was met with great acclaim. International conductors who have led the orchestra include among others Andreas Delfs (Germany), Alexander Rudin (Russia), Yoel Levi (Israel) and Paul Lin (Taiwan).
A well-known musician in Taiwan, Lin Paul Tien-Chi is now the principal resident conductor of the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a professor of conducting and violin in Chinese Culture University.
Lin Paul Tien-Chi showed an exceptional musical talent from an early age. He started learning violin at the age of five, under the guidance of various violinists such as Li Li-Shu, J. Learch, Sun Ciao-Ling, Leila Ransonyi and Victor Pikaizen.
A winner of numerous violin competitions in Taiwan, Lin has also participated in many important international violin competitions. Not only a soloist, Lin is also enthusiastic in chamber music. At the moment he is one of Taiwan’s most prominent and leading violinists as well as conductors.
Lin started to take an interest in conducting when he was the concertmaster of Taipei Century Symphony Orchestra, at the age of fourteen. When he joined Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra in 1990, Henry Mazer, the American General Music Director of the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra was delightfully amazed by his musical talent. Mazer thought that Lin was not only an exceptional violinist, but also sensitive in the control and construction of orchestral music.
With the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra he has undertaken numerous critically acclaimed sold out European tours conducting concerts in Germany, the Czech Republic at the Prague Spring International Music Festival, in Finland at the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, in Sweden at the Berwaldhallen Concert Hall in Stockholm, in Estonia at the Tallin Concert Hall and at the Estonian Glasperlenspiel Music Festival, as well as a return concert in Helsinki at the iconic Rock Church concert venue in 2003, and at the Auvers Music Fesival in France and a sold out concert in Paris during the 2005 Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra tour of France. Paul Tien-Chi Lin has also appeared with the orchestra in the USA.
Since the year 2000, Lin has been conducting the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra for numerous concerts and tours of Taiwan. He joined the TPO for the orchestra’s tour of Russia in June 2004, and also conducted concerts during the tour of Central Europe in September 2004, conducting concerts at the Wroclaw Music Festival in Poland, at the Krakow Music Festival, at the Budapest Music Days Festival, at the Prague Spirit Music Festival and a live Hungarian Radio Transmission.
The principal violinist Su Shien-ta started learning the violin at the age of five. Having graduated from L’Ecole Normal de Musique de Paris in 1986, he received the highest degree certificate in violin performance studies: Diplome Superieur de Concertist de Violin et Musique de Chambre. His playing style is deeply influenced by Henryk Szeryng and Gérard Poulet.
Su has collaborated with various significant orchestras both locally and globally. In addition to his homeland Taiwan, he has performed in the USA, Canada and Europe.
Currently, Su is the Department Chair of the Music Department and the Director of Orchestral Percussion Music Research Institute and Music Research Institute at Taipei National University of the Arts. Alongside his teaching career, he is also the concertmaster at TPO and the host of a TV show “The Enchanting World of Violin” which is very popular amongst its audiences.