Elim Chan

Elim Chan was chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra from 2019 to 2024.

Chan is convinced that conducting is “a marriage between brain, heart and body”. As she goes on to explain, “You need to express music with your hands and to develop a confident and authentic language.” The precision of this young artist’s gestures, combined with the natural plasticity of her way of shaping of the music, has been hugely admired not only in North America but also in Europe.

In January 2022, the Boston Classical Review spoke of a “marvel of control and understanding” following Elim Chan’s debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, while her first appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra only a few months later elicited a no less enthusiastic response. The orchestra, cleveland.org enthused, was on top form and “tantalizingly close to ideal”.

No other conductor of her generation is as sought after by top-flight orchestras in both North America and Europe, no other can be found working with comparably outstanding soloists. Born in Hong Kong in 1986, Elim Chan performs an unusually wide-ranging repertory of symphonic works extending from the Classical period to the present day.

Elim Chan has been principal conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra since 2019, having been principal guest conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra since 2018. During the 2022/23 season the Vienna Musikverein will be devoting a three-part series of concerts to her, profiling her work and including not only her debut with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra but also concerts with the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie of Bremen. She will additionally be touring Spain with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra.

Other highlights of the 2022/23 season include her debuts with the Pittsburgh and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, appearances with orchestras in Toronto, Cincinnati and Atlanta and her return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In Europe she will be expanding her field of activities with her debut with the Orchestre de Paris and concerts with the Oslo Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester of Berlin.

Elim Chan studied at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, and at the University of Michigan. In 2014 she was the first female winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, enabling her to spend the 2015/16 season as assistant conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra, where she worked closely with Valery Gergiev. For the following season Elim Chan joined the Dudamel Fellowship programme of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She also owes much to the support and encouragement of Bernard Haitink, whose masterclasses she attended in Lucerne in 2015.


    • Fri 24.05.24
      The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
    • Sat 25.05.24
      Queen Elisabeth Hall, Antwerpen
    • Fri 22.03.24
      Queen Elisabeth Hall, Antwerpen
    • Sat 23.03.24
      Muziekcentrum De Bijloke, Ghent
    • Fri 15.12.23
      Queen Elisabeth Hall, Antwerpen
    • Sat 16.12.23
      Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels