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Jahja Ling is probably best known for his association with the Cleveland Orchestra, with whom he served as a conductor for more than two decades, while founding the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. He also founded the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and has held major conducting posts with the Florida Orchestra and San Diego Symphony Orchestra. As a guest conductor he has led virtually every major orchestra in the U.S., including the famed ensembles of Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. He has also led orchestras abroad, including the Royal Philharmonic, Orchestre Nationale du Capitole de Toulouse, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, China Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and many others. Ling's repertory is as enormous as it is eclectic, taking in works by J.S. Bach, Tartini, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Bruckner, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Gershwin, Bernstein, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, and countless others. He has recorded for Telarc, Decca, and other major labels. Jahja Ling was born to Chinese parents in Jakarta, Indonesia, on October 25, 1951. From age four he played the piano and later studied music at the Yayasan Pendidikan Music School in Jakarta. After winning the Jakarta Piano Competition when he was just 17, he enrolled at Juilliard with a Rockefeller grant. There he studied conducting with John Nelson and piano with Mieczyslaw Munz. In 1977 Ling won the Bronze medal at the Artur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. He had further studies in conducting at the Yale School of Music, earning a doctorate degree in 1985. During his student years Ling was also busy on the other side of the U.S.: in 1981 he founded the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and served as the ensemble's music director until 1984. Ling's association with the Cleveland Orchestra began in 1984 as the associate conductor for a season. From 1985-2002 he was the ensemble's resident conductor, and from 2000-2005 he served as music director of the orchestra's Blossom Festival. Meanwhile, in 1986 Ling founded the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, serving as the ensemble's music director until 1993. In 1988 he made his European debut in Germany with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. That same year he assumed the post of music director of the Florida Orchestra, holding it until 2002, after which he has since served as music director laureate. Among his more notable concerts with the ensemble was the 1991 Super Bowl XXV appearance with Whitney Houston in performances of The Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful. Among Ling's more successful early recordings was the acclaimed 1997 Telarc CD of dances by Bernstein, Ravel, and Richard Strauss, with the Florida Orchestra. From 2004 Ling has served as music director of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. He signed a five-year extension with the orchestra in 2007. Among his more popular recordings with the ensemble is the 2011 CD on the San Diego Symphony label of Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant by Lucas Richman and Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals.