Jahja Ling’s distinguished career as an internationally renowned conductor has earned him an exceptional reputation for musical integrity, intensity and expressivity. The 2011/12 season marks his eighth season as Music Director of the San Diego Symphony. Together they have released five new live recordings and undertaken many commissions, as well as recorded new works by Bright Sheng (Telarc). Under his leadership, the San Diego Symphony has been designated as a major orchestra of Tier One by the League of American Symphony Orchestras.
The Indonesian-born maestro is the first and only conductor of Chinese descent who has conducted all of the major symphony orchestras in North America. Ling has also conducted the Royal Philharmonic of London, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, China Philharmonic, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Yomiuri Nippon Symphonies. In 2000, his performance with Yo-Yo Ma was featured on the ABC News program 20/20.
Ling holds a longstanding relationship with The Cleveland Orchestra, as Associate Conductor (1984/85), Resident Conductor (for 17 years), thereafter Director of the Blossom Festival (for 6 seasons). During his 28 consecutive seasons with Cleveland, he has conducted over 450 concerts, including many world premiere performances, in addition to receiving an Emmy® Award.
As Music Director of the Florida Orchestra (1988-2003), Jahja Ling was the first conductor ever invited to appear at the Superbowl (XXV in 1991) with Whitney Houston. He was named Music Director Laureate in 2002. He was also Music Director of the Taiwan Philharmonia (1998-2001) and named honourary conductor thereafter.
Ling has recorded for Telarc with the Royal Philharmonic, and two baroque albums with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (nominated for a Grammy® Award). He has also recorded albums with Florida Orchestra (Azica Records) and Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony with Cleveland Orchestra.
Jahja Ling served as Assistant and Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, founding Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (1986-1993) and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (1981-1984). As a pianist, he has appeared as soloist with orchestras internationally.