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Press Releases

Shanghai Orchestra Academy Starts Worldwide Admission Process for 2020 Academic Year

October 9, 2019 | By Patricia Price
Managing Director, 8VA Music Consultancy

Shanghai Orchestra Academy

The Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) – a partnership between the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music – formally kicked off its worldwide student admission process for the 2020 academic year on September 1. Applicants will take part in two rounds of auditions in Shanghai in March 2020, and classes will start for selected students in September 2020. Over the course of the following two years, students will be mentored by professors and professional musicians from the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, among other orchestras, and will be given numerous opportunities to perform and audition for internship placements with internationally renowned orchestras including the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, in addition to earning a Master of Fine Arts degree upon graduation.

Established by Maestro Long Yu, Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, in September 2014, the SOA has just begun the process for its seventh year of admissions. The SOA boasts a faculty consisting of leading musicians from both the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, complemented by professors from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Following a course structure that combines a traditional music education with internships, students learn from and perform with professional musicians as key steps toward earning their degree. This curriculum allows students to rapidly gain first-hand experience and to learn ensemble playing skills directly from musicians while combining theory with practice. Students have regularly scheduled one-on-one sessions with leading musicians from the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and perform alongside their mentors when the orchestra gives professional performances. In addition, musicians from the New York Philharmonic visit Shanghai regularly, helping students design their personalized curriculum, teaching practical orchestra and ensemble playing skills, and providing in-depth guidance to students in master classes.

The SOA is committed to nurturing professional orchestral musicians and providing a variety of external practice opportunities. Throughout each academic year, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra provides each student at least 8 to 10 concert opportunities. In addition, several groups of students perform side-by-side with musicians in other professional orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the China Philharmonic, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, the Hangzhou Philharmonic, and the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra.

Most SOA graduates choose to work within professional orchestras as a way to consolidate career progress. Nearly all students receive job offers during their two years of study or advance to higher career positions upon completion of the program. The employment rate of the four graduated classes of the SOA is 90%.

During the 5th Anniversary Celebration and Graduation Commencement of SOA, Maestro Long Yu said, “Developing from a professional amateur to a professional is like climbing over a high mountain. It may even become the exploration and pursuit of a lifetime. Your career is just beginning. It is you who decides whether you can really be a professional musician. The future is yours.”

Admission schedule for 2020 academic year students:

Deadline for Master of Fine Arts degree for applicants from Mainland China: 31 October, 2019
Deadline for applicants from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao: 1 December, 2019
Deadline for applicants from overseas and performance certificate: 1 March, 2020
To apply or learn more, please visit the SOA website –

Contact SOA:

Tel: 86 21-5466 7821
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 ­– 16:30
Admissions Email:
Inquiries Email:
Address: No. 1380 Middle Fuxing Road, Shanghai,200031, P.R. China




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