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December 17, 2012
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

Li Xincao, conductor
Yang Xu, violin
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Program includes:
Guan Xia: “Requiem for the Earth,” Mvt. I
Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

FAIRFAX, Va., Dec. 17, 2012 – This grand ensemble, credited with creating an orchestral tradition unique to China, showcases its impressive artistry and award-winning instrumentalists with music from East to West. Under the baton of Li Xincao, the China National Symphony Orchestra performs at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at 8 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III and is sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

The program for this performance includes the opening movement from Chinese composer and China National Symphony Orchestra Director Guan Xia’s “Requiem for the Earth,” written in remembrance of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake; Sibelius’ glorious Violin Concerto with celebrated violin soloist Yang Xu; and Rachmaninoff’s passionate Symphony No. 2. 

Founded in 1956, the China National Symphony Orchestra has spent the last half century introducing audiences throughout its homeland to an immense and diverse repertoire of classical, romantic, modern and contemporary orchestral works by both Western and Asian composers, and has presented many first performances and world premieres in China. The orchestra’s concerts are frequently broadcast on radio and television throughout China and across the globe, and many recordings have been made of its live performances. The orchestra has collaborated with numerous classical music luminaries, including such conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur and Charles Dutoit; and such instrumentalists as Isaac Stern, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang. The orchestra has brought its performances to North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, earning the praise of audiences and critics alike. The London Times called the China National Symphony Orchestra “a mature group with a vital sound,” while The Washington Post called it “a solid, energetic and meticulously drilled ensemble.”

As the principal resident conductor of the China National Symphony Orchestra, Li Xincao has led the ensemble in performances at prestigious venues across the globe, including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House and Tokyo Suntory Hall. He holds degrees from the Central Conservatory of Music of China and Musikuniversität Wien in Vienna, Austria. In addition to his role with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Xincao is the principal conductor of the Busan Philharmonic Orchestra.

Yang Xu first caught the public’s attention when he was featured in China’s New Year’s Eve Celebration Gala at age 12, the highest-viewed cultural event in the country. He studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China, and then earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and his Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. In the following years, he earned numerous prestigious awards in international competitions, and made his American concert debut in 1999. Xu became a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2008, and has performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Celebrated violinist Yehudi Menuhin has called Xu “the most intense and excellent violinist.”  

PLEASE NOTE: The China National Symphony Orchestra also performs at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at 8 p.m. Under the baton of Li Xincao, the orchestra will perform Guan Xia’s “Requiem for the Earth,” Mvt. I and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, and will accompany piano prodigy Peng Peng Gong on Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

Program subject to change.

This performance is generously sponsored by Evelyn and Tom Kiley.

Tickets for the CHINA NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA are $30, $52 and $60. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_CFA.

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University
George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.