Born into a musical family in Shanghai, Lü Jia began studying piano and cello with his parents at a very young age. He later studied conducting at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Under the instruction of Zheng Xiaoying he graduated at the top of his class one year early in 1987. Two years later, he went to Germany’s Berlin University of the Arts, where he continued his studies under Hans-Martin Rabenstein and Robert Wolf. Lü Jia has conducted 2,000 concerts and operas in Europe and the Americas, has cooperated with more than a hundred opera houses and orchestras, and was the first Chinese conductor to lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In September 1989 he won first prize and the Judges’ Prize at the Antonio Pedrotti International Conducting Competition in Italy, which lay the foundations of his international conducting career. Lü Jia has been the principal conductor of the Trieste Opera, the Orchestra della Toscana (Regional Orchestra of Tuscany), the Lazio Chamber Orchestra, Rome, and of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. He has also been a frequent guest conductor with the Hallé Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Dortmund Opera House, and the Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra. He is currently music director of the Arena di Verona and artistic director of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. He is also the artistic director of the Peking Opera Academy of Beijing University and guest professor of the Xiamen Institute of Science and Technology of Huaqiao University. Since September 2008 he has been music director and principal conductor of the Macau Orchestra.