Xian Zhang, leading orchestras in New Jersey and Wales

Posted on: February 24, 2016

In Tuesday’s (2/23) Daily Telegraph (London), Karen Kwok interviews Xian Zhang, who this September will become music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the first female to hold that post. Zhang has also been “appointed principal guest conductor of one of the BBC’s orchestras, the National Orchestra of Wales…. The China-born conductor said … with classical music becoming more popular in China … the demand for conductors is increasing….  ‘Almost every time I go back to China, I hear a newly formed orchestra,’ Zhang said. ‘It’s fantastic.’ … Zhang, born in Dandong, Liaoning province … attended the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing [where she] learned piano first. She recalls that her teacher kept complaining about how small her hands were.… It was only after she turned 20 that she considered conducting as a career,” moving to the U.S. in 1998 for doctoral studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. “Zhang said she sees many talented female conductors coming up through the ranks [and] feels she has a responsibility to set a good example for female conductors to come. ‘Somehow you have to prove to people that there is no difference between female and male in conducting.’ ”

Posted February 24, 2016

Pictured: Xiang Zhang leads the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, May 2015. Photo by Fred Stucker