Expanding the Orchestra's Repertoire

Under Mario Paci’s leadership, the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra entered a new era. The orchestra’s regular subscription season gradually increased from 20 to 40 concerts and from single to double performances. He also created a chamber music series, jazz series, young people’s concert series, and special music festivals.

Paci always kept in mind the desires of Shanghai’s diverse and sensitive audience as he made his programs. The orchestra performed a wide-ranging repertoire from standard works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, and Wagner, to contemporary works of the time by Stravinsky, Gershwin, Respighi, Richard Strauss, Scriabin, and Shostakovich. Its repertoire was, in fact, similar to that of major orchestras on any stage in the West.

Mario Paci conducting Beethoven Symphony no. 9, last movement, 1936.

Some major concert events in Shanghai

  • 1927 - Beethoven Centennial (death) Concert
  • 1928 - Schubert Centennial Festival
  • 1933 - Brahms Centennial Festival
  • 1933 - Wagner Anniversary (death) Concert
  • 1937 - Haydn "Creation" (in collaboration with Chinese choruses)
  • 1939 - Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (in collaboration with Shanghai Chinese Chorus of 300 singers)

Some Shanghai Municipal Orchestra concert programs