When the East is in the West

Chinese-born conductor Yi-An Xu is thriving in Tel Aviv, leading orchestras and teaching conducting

yi an xu 88 224 (photo credit: )
yi an xu 88 224
(photo credit: )
Life is smiling on young Chinese conductor Yi-An Xu. He is busy conducting orchestras throughout the country and teaching at the Tel Aviv Music Academy. He shares his life with his Israeli counterpart - conductor Talia Ilan. "We are very happy together," he says, speaking over the phone from their Holon apartment on the eve of a special concert with the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra. The program, entitled "China Festival: East meets West," features the Yellow River Piano Concerto, played by pianist Nadia Weintraub, and The Moon Reflected in Er-Quan, as well as Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. Yi-An Xu, 29, earned his first academic degree in Shanghai and continued his studies at the Tel Aviv Music Academy under Mendi Rodan, Noam Sherif and Avi Ma'ayani. In between, he worked in Europe. Upon receipt of his second degree, he was offered a teaching position in Tel Aviv. When asked why he chose to stay in Tel Aviv, of all places, Yi-An Xu replied, "Why not?" with a smile. "This is the most welcoming place for musicians, and I love this country." Now, in his fifth year in Israel, Yi-An Xu both teaches conducting, conducts students' instrumental ensembles and opera productions, and works as a voice coach. "My life here is very busy, but I like it and I would like to stay in Israel," he says. The concert, under the patronage of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, will be attended by guests of honor Zhao Jun, Ambassador of China in Israel, and Culture, Science and Sports Minister Ghaleb Majadle. The concert will take place at the Herzliya Performing Arts Center on Saturday, January 19 at 8:30 p.m.