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Xian Zhang


About this Artist

Xian Zhang is currently in her seventh season as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony, which marks its 100th-anniversary season in 2022/23. She also holds the positions of Principal Guest Conductor of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, following a hugely successful period from 2009 to 2016 as their Music Director. 

   Beyond the U.S., Zhang’s 2022/23 guest engagements include the London Symphony, Singapore Symphony, and Orchestre National de Lille. Previous engagements include Philharmonia Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, the orchestra of Komische Oper in Berlin, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. In recent seasons, she conducted the Orchestre National de Lyon at the Paris Philharmonie and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France as part of La Folle Journée festival in Nantes. 

   U.S. engagements in the 2022/23 season include debuts with Chicago Symphony and St. Louis Symphony and returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Festival, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Zhang remains a popular guest of the Detroit, Montreal, NAC Ottawa, and Toronto Symphony orchestras. 

   In the opera world, Zhang will return to Norwegian Opera for Tosca, which she recently conducted at Cincinnati Opera, and make her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2024. Previous productions include Nabucco with Welsh National Opera, Otello with Savonlinna Festival, La traviata with Norwegian Opera (Oslo), La bohème with English National Opera, and La forza del destino with the National Opera in Washington, D.C. 

   Zhang has previously served as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales and was the first female conductor to hold a titled role with a BBC orchestra. In 2002, she won first prize in the Maazel-Vilar Conductor’s Competition. She was appointed New York Philharmonic’s Assistant Conductor in 2002, subsequently becoming its Associate Conductor and the first holder of the Arturo Toscanini Chair.