鄭小瑛 ZHENG Xiao-ying（1929年9月28日～）
ZHENG Xiao-ying (September 28, 1929 – )
ZHENG Xiao-ying is a conductor, educator, and social activist. She is the first female symphony conductor in China, Honorary Conductor of the Central Opera House, and Artistic Director of the Zheng Xiao-ying Opera Art Center. She has held positions such as Director of the Conducting Department at the Central Conservatory of Music, Chief Conductor of the Central Opera House, Music Director and co-founder of the Philharmonic Women’s Orchestra, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, and Executive Council Member of the Chinese Musicians’ Association.
ZHENG Xiao-ying was born on September 28, 1929, into an intellectual family in Shanghai. Her ancestral home is Yongding County, Fujian Province. She started learning piano at the age of six. During the early years of the Anti-Japanese War, she evacuated to Sichuan and attended Huaying Girls’ School for her secondary education. In 1947, she was admitted to Jinling College for Women’s Biology Department but left shortly after to join the Central Plains University Work Troupe in the liberated areas. In 1952, she entered the Composition Department of the Central Conservatory of Music and had the opportunity to participate in a short-term training class for choral conducting conducted by Soviet experts. In 1960, she was sent to the Moscow Conservatory in the Soviet Union for further studies. In 1962, due to her outstanding performance, she was given the opportunity to conduct Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Tosca”. She returned to China in 1963 but was sent down for “re-education” during the Cultural Revolution. After the reform and opening up, she became the Chief Conductor of the Central Opera Company. In 1989, she founded the Philharmonic Women’s Chamber Orchestra with a group of female musicians. In 1994, she went to the United States for further studies. In 1997, at the invitation of the former Chairman of Xiamen Municipal Political Consultative Conference, she founded a private orchestra in Xiamen. On September 9, 1998, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra held its inaugural performance at the Gulangyu Concert Hall, with ZHENG Xiao-ying serving as the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. On September 30, 2013, her contract expired, and she stepped down from the position of Artistic Director of the orchestra.
ZHENG Xiao-ying has successfully conducted performances in more than twenty countries. She has been awarded two French Order of Arts and Letters medals, the Russia-China Friendship Medal, the Special Contribution Award to China’s Opera Career, the Wen Hua Conducting Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and the Chinese Musicians’ Association “Golden Bell Award,” among others.