Born in Tianjin in China, he started to play the piano and violin in his childhood – by the age of 18 he was working as a composer, pianist and percussionist with a local orchestra. After graduating from the Beijing Central Conservatory he became a second Principal Conductor of the Chinese Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for five years, and a Principal Guest Conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China and the National Youth Orchestra of China. En Shao moved to England in 1988 and was awarded the Lord Rhodes Fellowship at the Royal Northern College of Music and he in the same year received the first Edward Van Beinum Foundation Scholarship. He won the Sixth Hungarian Television International Conductor’s Competition in Budapest in 1989. In 1990 he became an Associate Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Between 1992 and 1995 he was the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra, he also held the position of a Principal Guest Conductor of the Euskadi Orchestra in Bilbao. He is now the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Macao Orchestra and the Guilford Philharmonic Orchestra.
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