Born in Tianjin in China, En Shao started to play the piano and violin at the ages of four and five respectively and by the age of 18 was working as a composer, pianist and percussionist with a local orchestra. After graduating from the Beijing Central Conservatory he became second Principal Conductor of the Chinese Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for five years and Principal Guest Conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China and the National Youth Orchestra of China.
Maestro Shao is currently the Chief Conductor of the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, the Principal Guest Conductor of the China National Symphony Orchestra and the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra. He was awarded the Lord Rhodes Fellowship at the Royal Northern College of Music, when he came to England in 1988, and in the same year he received the first Edward Van Beinum Foundation Scholarship. As winner of the Sixth Hungarian Television International Conductor’s Competition in 1989 he conducted several performances with the Hungarian Radio Orchestra and the State Symphony Orchestra. In January 1990 he became Associate Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, a post created especially for him. Between 1992 – 1995 he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra, with whom he made his Proms debut, and has also held the positions of Principal Guest Conductor of the Euskadi Orchestra in Spain and Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Macau Orchestra.
In the UK Maestro Shao has conducted the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Hallé, Bournemouth, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Elsewhere, recent and future engagements include conducting the RTV Slovenian Orchestra at the Robeco Series in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Orchestre de Picardie, Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur, China National Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra and Slovenian Philharmonic orchestras. En Shao is very committed to developing young talent and regularly guest conducts the Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra and is Patron of the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra. He is also a regular visitor to the United States and Canada, working with the orchestras of Colorado, Phoenix and Vancouver and has undertaken engagements in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
As well as his commitments in Slovenia, China and Taiwan, highlights of recent and future seasons include the Zagreb and Belgrade Philharmonic and the Gavle and Hungarian Symphony orchestras, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Malaga, KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic in Durban, South Africa, and a return to the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra for their 50th Anniversary Gala Concert.
En Shao has a wide range of interests including Chinese cuisine, contemporary interior design and architecture and jazz. He also takes a particular interest in environmental issues.