"....the 91-member orchestra played with a sonorous sound......, striking a warm balance between the radiant strings, majestic brass and glowing winds..." -"Washington Post", Nov. 2019
"The clarity, agility, and expressiveness of the TSO are awe–inspiring, an orchestra destined to take its place as one of the world's top symphony orchestras." -"Saarbrücker Zeitung"
"You are outstanding musicians with an inspiring enthusiasm who play on a technical level of doubtlessly international standard. I really loved working with you and especially enjoyed the warm personal contact with you and Maestro Varga. For me it was like playing with friends and I hope to come back soon."- Sabine Meyer
In 1969, when 30-odd musicians got together in a concert hall in Taipei, which at the time could still be called a relatively desolate music scene, they infused the city with countless notes of splendor. Now, more than 50 years later, that small group of musicians has grown up, becoming the 100-plus members of a large-scale orchestra – adding a brilliant chapter to the history of music performance in Taiwan, and becoming the only Western orchestra that truly belongs to the friendliest city in the world – Taipei Symphony Orchestra (TSO).
From the ensemble’s inception, TSO has been known for its high musical standards, and has invited innumerable renowned musicians to perform and collaborate with them, including sopranos Anna Netrebko and Angela Gheorghiu, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and Maxim Vengerov, cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Mstislav Rostropovich, conductor Yuri Temirkanov, clarinetist Sabine Meyer, trombonist Christian Lindberg and composer Tan Dun. In 1979, when the first Taipei Music Festival was held, it set the precedent for large-scale music festivals in Taiwan, and aside from inviting renowned international orchestras, such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, TSO also established its long tradition of performing an opera every year, including such classic works as "Pagliacci", "La Dame aux Camelias", "Faust", "Carmen", "Turandot", and "La bohème". In October of 2011, TSO's production of Verdi's "Aida" was the first time a full opera was ever performed at the Taipei Arena. In recent years, TSO performed "La Clemenza di Tito" in its entirety for the first time ever in Taiwan, as well as the Taiwan debuts of "Ariadne auf Naxos", "Eugene Onegin", "Die Kluge" and "Der Mond", establishing the importance of TSO in the performance of opera in Taiwan.
Apart from performing in Taiwan, TSO is also no stranger to international concert halls, having performed in Austria, the U.S., Japan, Russia, France, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Singapore, China, and the Philippines; in particular, TSO’s 2017 return tour of the west coast of the United states after 26 years gave fans on the other side of the Pacific Ocean the opportunity to hear the pride of Taipei and indeed the whole of Taiwan! In recent years, the orchestra has participated in many international music festivals and important events, such as the Expo 2010 Shanghai China, the closing ceremony of the Federation for Asian Cultural Promotion in 2011, La Folle Journee in Kanazawa, Toyama and Tokyo, Japan in 2012, a tour of Japan in 2014, and performing at France's Les Flaneries Musicales de Reims in June 2015, Shanghai International Arts Festival in 2016, a U.S tour in 2017, as well as a China tour in 2019, and has been invited to perform at the Washington Center for the Arts in Washington D.C. on November 2019.
In 2018, under the leadership of Director Kang-Kuo Ho, TSO has spiritually rebooted Taipei Music Festival with the name “Taipei Renaissance”, to produce multi-culture and innovative orchestral programs. In 2019, TSO also invited Maestro Eliahu Inbal as Principal Conductor. TSO believe its next 50 years will be more classic!
Mikhail Glinka: Overture to “Ruslan and Lyudmila”
Ruggero Leoncavallo: ‘Si può? Signore! Signori!’ from “Pagliacci” Prologo