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Prominent Conductor: Li Delun

Li Delun, born in 1917, is a notable musician and conductor in China. He was the Artistic Director and principal conductor of the former Central Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of China, and is now the Advisor of the China National Symphony Orchestra.

Li Delun graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory where he studied the cello with I. Shevtzov and R. Duckson as well as music theory with W. Frankel. He organized the China Youth Symphony Orchestra with his schoolmate in 1942. His career as a conductor started in 1943, and in 1946 he conducted the Yan'an Central Orchestra. When the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, Li Delun was nominated as the conductor of the China Central Opera House in Beijing.

In 1953-57, Li Delun was enrolled by the Moscow Conservatory to further his study in conducting with N. Anosov, and conducted over 20 orchestras throughout the former USSR. In the fall of 1957, he returned to China and became Conductor and Artistic Director of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra. He also appeared as conductor in Czechoslovakia, Finland, Japan, Korea and Cuba in the following years.

In 1977, Li Delun conducted the gala concert for Beethoven's 150th anniversary, which was a historical concert in China's musical history especially after the Cultural Revolution. Ten years later, he conducted yet another impressive concert of which more than 810 musicians gathered together to open the Beijing Symphonic Festival.

From 1985 to 1995, as a guest conductor, Li Delun toured Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Canada, United States, Soviet Union, Chinese Hong Kong and Taiwan.

As an outstanding Chinese musician, Li Delun premiered many Chinese works. He also introduced many Chinese composers' works abroad including The Yellow River Cantata and Song of Mountain Forest.

Li Delun cooperated with many world-class musicians including David Oistrakh, Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Tortelier, Yo-Yo Ma, Fou Ts'ong, Bezrodnai, Nikolaevea as well as well-known Chinese pianists Loyi Wu, Liu Shikun and Shi Shucheng, violinists Lu Siqing, Xue Wei and Yu Linan, and many others.

Li Delun had been a member of the Jury at the Menuhin International Violin Competition in Paris in 1985 and the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1986. He was the President of the Jury at the National Competition of Orchestra Conductors in China in 1993. Li Delun devoted himself to musical education. He has given hundreds of lectures in more than 20 cities in China.

Li Delun was awarded the Honorary Prize of Conductorship of China in 1980. He was granted the Liszt Memory Medal by the Ministry of Culture and Education of Hungary in 1986, and was awarded the National Medal of Friendship by President Yeltsin of Russia in 1997.

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