Hu Yongyan is artistic director of the Orchestra Academy at Zhejiang Conservatory of Music. Early in his career, he served as music director and conductor of several orchestras in the US, and later, returned to his native Shanghai to lead the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra as music director and conductor. In 2004, he founded an orchestra academy at the Central Conservatory of Music, where he served as artistic director and dean for many years. He also led the North German Philharmonic Orchestra as principal guest conductor and taught at Yale University as a visiting professor. 

Hu’s conducting career has spanned the globe and included collaborations with world-class orchestras and artists such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Lang Lang. He has earned a Golden Record Award for his conducting on musical recordings. In 2016, Hu was awarded the Yale Presidential Award as one of 13 distinguished visiting professors. 

Born into a musical family in Shanghai, Hu studied at the Central Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Zheng Xiaoying. After graduating from the Conservatory in 1983, he went on to Yale University and The Juilliard School to study under Otto-Werner Mueller, graduating in 1989.