Elim Chan will be taking over as chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2019–2020 season. Chan, born in Hong Kong, became the first woman to win the renowned Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2014, and she made her celebrated debut with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra this season. The 31-year-old conductor, who is following in the footsteps of the likes of Edo de Waart and Jaap van Zweden, is the orchestra’s youngest ever chief conductor.
Conductor Elim Chan (1986, Hong Kong) became the first woman to win the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2014. Her victory resulted in her appointment as assistant conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra during the 2015-2016 season. The following season she participated in the Dudamel Fellowship programme of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2018-2019 Chan will be principal guest conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Highlights this season include her debut concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Houston Symphony, among others.
A celebrated debut
Elim Chan has conducted the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra on two occasions this season. In November 2017 she made her debut with the orchestra with a programme including works by Bernstein and Prokofiev. In March 2018 she led the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and renowned soloist Lukáš Vondráček, winner of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in 2016, through works by Brahms, Liszt and Rimsky-Korsakov. At both concerts Elim Chan received an enthusiastic response from orchestra and audience alike.
First concerts as (designate) chief conductor
Elim Chan will take up her position as chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra on 4 October 2019, when she will be opening the prestigious Masterpieces series for the 2019-2020 season with The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky. Chan will also be in Antwerp during the 2018-2019 season, when she will be conducting the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra as they perform a programme including works by Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Mozart (with virtuoso pianist Sergei Babayan). These concerts will take place on Saturday 30 March 2019 in the Muziekcentrum De Bijloke in Ghent, and on Sunday 31 March 2019 in the Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp.
‘It is an absolute delight to be appointed chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra from the 2019-2020 season. I am fascinated by the vast potential of the orchestra and am looking forward to explore different music and grow together. With the pleasure of having the spectacular Queen Elisabeth Hall as our home, the orchestra and I are ready for this exciting new chapter ahead!’ - Elim Chan, Chief Conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra for the 2019-2020 season
‘It is fantastic to be able to welcome Elim Chan as our new chief conductor. With Elim, we made a radical choice for a rising star with great ambitions.’ - Joost Maegerman, General Manager Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Hans Ferwerda, Artistic Director Antwerp Symphony Orchestra