Chen Xieyang was born in Jiangsu in 1939. In 1960 he entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to study composition with Yang Jiaren and Huang Xiaotong. He was later employed as resident conductor of the Shanghai Ballet Orchestra, one of the youngest musicians to hold the post. He regularly conducted the Central Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing. In 1986 he was appointed music director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He led the orchestra on several tours to Europe and the United States, winning critical acclaims. Chen Xieyang is now honorary music director of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor of China National Symphony Orchestra.