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Xian Zhang

Xian Zhang sitting on a bench in front of a window


Xian Zhang is currently in her seventh season as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony, who mark their 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 2009–2016 as their Music Director.

Beyond the US, Xian Zhang’s 2022/23 guest engagements include the London Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Orchestre National de Lille. Previous engagements include Philharmonia Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, the orchestra of Komische Oper in Berlin, and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. 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.

In addition to Boston Symphony, Xian Zhang's 2022/23 US engagements include Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, St Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Xian Zhang remains a popular guest of Detroit, Montreal, NAC Ottawa, and Toronto Symphony orchestras.

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

Xian Zhang has previously served as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra & 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 their Associate Conductor and the first holder of the Arturo Toscanini Chair.

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