PIANO 2024: XIAN ZHANG – GUEST CONDUCTOR
The Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) is delighted to announce that the internationally renowned Chinese-American conductor Xian Zhang will be Guest Conductor for the Piano 2024 edition.
The competition finalists will have the exceptional opportunity to perform under the baton of Xian Zhang for the Grand Final with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), on May 15 and 16, 2024, at Maison symphonique de Montréal.
Renowned for her intelligence and dynamism, Xian Zhang will surely inspire these virtuoso pianists of the new generation. Zhang has already captivated Montreal audiences, previously leading the OSM in both 2020 and 2022. She is the first woman in the history of the Concours to conduct the official CMIM orchestra.
“I am hugely looking forward to conducting performances as part of the forthcoming Concours musical international de Montréal in 2024. The players of Orchestre symphonique de Montréal are always an utter joy to make music with, and the competition itself has a huge legacy both within the cultural landscape of Canada and beyond. It will be an honour to be a part of the 2024 edition, and I cannot wait to meet and hear the young pianists in action!” – Xian Zhang
2023/24 will mark Zhang’s eighth season as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, who celebrated their centennial last season. Zhang also holds the positions of Principal Guest Conductor of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, having previously held the position of Music Director between 2009–2016.
In high demand as a guest conductor, Zhang juggles an exceptionally busy diary of guest engagements alongside her titled commitments. Throughout 2023/24, she conducts Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Zhang’s upcoming symphonic highlights include returns to the Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Houston Symphony, Orchestra of St Luke’s, and National Symphony Orchestra DC.
Letters for The Future (released 2022), Zhang’s recording on Deutsche Grammophon with Philadelphia Orchestra and Time for Three, won multiple 2023 GRAMMY awards.
Zhang previously served as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales, 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.