"Very seldom I was enjoying so much rehearsals and performance with the orchestra. Thank you for being so devoted to music and thank you for playing so beautifully. "
“… I discovered an orchestra which is highly motivated, extremely competent, well-prepared. The performances were enthusiastic, brilliant and replete with admirable musical values… “
"… The Orchestra has such enthusiasm and good preparation, the audiences were very welcoming and receptive, all of this making the time I spent in Taiwan a highlight of my tour of the Far East… The National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan has now a grand tradition of playing that will continue… "
Founded more than two decades ago by the Ministry of Education, the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), also known as Philharmonia Taiwan, has built programs and activities that have increased the country's cultural richness and stimulated audiences throughout Taiwan. The orchestra recently (2005) became an artistic affiliate of the National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center.
The NSO continues to flourish, receiving government support and enjoying a growing audience base from its inception. It has given thousands of concerts, launched many education programs, and hosted several music activities mostly at its resident venue, the National Concert Hall in Taipei. Tour performances were also regularly offered throughout Taiwan and in overseas, in places such as Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sapporo, Tokyo, Yokohama and Hong Kong.
The NSO works regularly with and internationally acclaimed musicians, including Lorin Maazel, K. Penderecki, Rudolf Barshai, Günther Herbig, Shao-Chia Lü, Kek-Tjiang Lim, G. Schwarz, Uri Mayer, Joseph Silverstein, Leonard Slatkin and many others.
The orchestra has been led by two noted principle conductors, Gerard Akoka and Urs Schneider, and benefited from the leadership of many music directors, including Tsang-Houei Hsu, Da-Shen Chang, Jahja Ling and Wen-Pin Chien. During Chien’s tenure (2001~2007), the NSO explored a wide range of repertoire, including the Beethoven cycles, Mahler, Shostakovich, R. Strauss and Tchaikovsky. The NSO has also enjoyed performing opera productions and dances working with the world-renown choreographer and founder of the Cloudgate Company, Lin Hwai-Min, and director and founder of PWSHOP, Stanly Lai. In 2007, the NSO started its multinational productions, such as Der Rosenkavalier with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Carmen with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Norwegian National Opera and Opera Australia.
In 2008~2010, Maestro Günther Herbig is the Artistic Adviser and Principal Guest Conductor of the NSO. Under Mr. Herbig’s leadership, the NSO continues to build an extensive repertoire from classical to contemporary music, as well as commission and premiere works devoted to promoting the music of Taiwanese composers. The NSO continually explores various elements to further enrich its performances and carry out its mission as the flagship of classical ensemble in Taiwan.