Ling, Jahja, Indonesian conductor and pianist of Chinese descent; b. Jakarta, Oct. 25, 1951. He received piano training at the Jakarta School of Music. After winning the Jakarta Piano Competition at 17, he was awarded a Rockefeller grant and pursued his studies at the Juilliard School in N.Y. (M.A.), where he was a pupil of Meczyslaw Munz and Beveridge Webster (piano) and of John Nelson (conducting). He also held a Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship at the Berkshire Music Center at Tangle wood (summer, 1980), where he studied with Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Ozawa, Previn, Schuller, and Silverstein. He completed his conducting studies with Mueller at Yale Univ. (D.M.A., 1985). From 1981 to 1984 he was the Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor of the San Francisco Sym., and also was founder-music director of its youth orch. and music director of the San Francisco Cons, of Music orch. He then was resident conductor of the Cleveland Orch. (from 1984), where he also was founder-music director of its youth orch., and later director of its Blossom Music Center (from 2000). He concurrently served as music director of the Fla. Orch. (from 1988) and artistic director of the National Sym. Orch. of Taiwan in Taipei (from 1998). In 1988 he received a Seaver-NEA Conductor’s Award. A guest conductor, he appeared with many leading North American orchs. In 1988 he made his European debut with the Gewandhaus Orch. in Leipzig. At his N.Y. Phil, debut on Feb. 26, 1993, he conducted the premiere of Zwilich’s 3rd Sym.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire