Boston Conservatory Student Wins Clarinet Position with Wuxi Symphony

Chenglin Yang will join the newly formed orchestra in his home province of Jiangsu, near Shanghai.

October 13, 2023

Midway through his graduate program in clarinet performance, Boston Conservatory at Berklee student Chenglin Yang (M.M. '24) will be charting a new path to his master’s degree, thanks to a job offer from the newly formed Wuxi Symphony Orchestra in Jiangsu Province, China. After a competitive audition process that drew more than 200 applicants worldwide, Yang earned one of three full-time clarinet positions in the orchestra, and, for the foreseeable future, will be studying for his degree remotely.

In its global search for new personnel, the Wuxi Symphony held auditions throughout China, as well as in Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Vienna, Berlin, Kraków, and New York City. As the youngest clarinetist to join the orchestra, Yang will perform alongside two fellow section members who have already completed advanced degrees at the Juilliard School.

Encouraged by his teacher, Associate Professor YaoGuang Zhai (who also serves as principal clarinet for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Yang flew to Shanghai for auditions this past May. It was a homecoming of sorts for Yang, who attended Shanghai Conservatory of Music and grew up in nearby Xuzhou.

“I am a player who loves orchestral playing, and Wuxi is also an important city in Jiangsu Province, which is very close to my hometown,” Yang said, “so I think this job is just suitable for me.” 

The Wuxi Symphony Orchestra was cofounded in 2023, by the Wuxi municipal government and Wuxi National High-Tech District, with designs on becoming one of Asia’s premier orchestras. The group will make its debut performance on New Year’s Day 2024, and in 2025 will take up residence in a new 1,500-seat concert hall designed by the international architecture firm Perkins Eastman. 

Yang will begin rehearsals next month, in preparation for the group’s first concert on January 1. With special accommodations from the Conservatory’s Music Division, he hopes to remain on track for graduation in May 2024.

“It is undeniable that my success in my new job is absolutely inseparable from BoCo’s continuous support and Professor Zhai’s guidance and encouragement,” Yang said. “I am truly grateful.”