Jahja Ling’s distinguished career has earned him an exceptional reputation for musical integrity, intensity and expressivity. He has held the longest continuous relationship with The Cleveland Orchestra for 32 consecutive seasons conducting over 500 concerts as Resident Conductor, Blossom Festival Director, and guest conductor. He is universally praised for his work and dedication in building the San Diego Symphony Orchestra from an orchestra of post-bankruptcy status into one of the top tier major orchestras during his 13 years tenure as music director. He has appointed more than 65 new musicians from all over the world to form this remarkable ensemble and together they have collaborated with world's greatest soloists such as Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, James Galway, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Pepe Romero, and Gil Shaham. In October of 2013, Mr. Ling led the orchestra in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, followed by a tour to China where they appeared in Yentai (San Diego's sister city), Shanghai, and Beijing. This was the first international tour and the first appearance of the San Diego Symphony at Carnegie Hall in its 102 year history. The 2016-17 season will be Jahja Ling's final season as music director of SDSO and from the following season has been named as its first Conductor Laureate.
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