Lifetime achievements of Maestro Jahja Ling: The Story of a Chinese-American Conductor
328 J Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Art and music have been proven to be one of the most magical remedies for souls and the most powerful inspirations for minds. Marching into a new year, an exhibition on Maestro Jahja Ling will be the inauguration exhibition for reopening the SDCHM in 2021, celebrating a successful Chinese-American narrative.
Maestro Jahja Ling 林望傑 (b.1951), an accomplished musician and Chinese-American, is well-known for his masterships in piano performance and orchestra conducting, and mostly recognized for revitalizing the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Jahja Ling, as a musical prodigy since his childhood, embarked his musical journeys from Indonesia (his birth place) where he immersed in European culture and music, and later through the trainings in both the Juilliard School and Yale University in the United States, where he settled, flourished, and embraced. Jahja Ling had a long-term career in conducting with youth orchestras and symphony orchestras that ranked as the top calibers in the U.S.A., especially Boston Symphony Orchestras (in Tanglewood) and Cleveland Symphony Orchestras which both I had attended. In the national and global platforms, Jahja Ling was also on the stage with many accomplished musicians, such as the cellist Yo-yo Ma 馬友友 and the pianist Lang Lang 朗郎. His finale concerts at San Diego Orchestra Symphony in 2018 marveled the audiences (including the author) with his energy and passion for the interpretations of classical music.
The SDCHM, in partnership with the SDSU Chinese Cultural Center, will adapt this exhibition, building on the work initiated by the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, which developed and mounted an exhibition celebrating the famed conductor in 2018. We will present a retrospective overview of Jahja Ling's musical achievements and journey, also exploring his personal dedication to the church choir after his retirement. Some of the virtual programs to accompany the exhibit will showcase younger Chinese American musicians who admire and have been inspired by Maestro Jahja Ling.
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