Kahchun Wong 2017/18 Season Announced: 2016 Mahler Competition Winner And Chief Conductor Designate Of The Nuremburg Symphony
The inspiring 30-year old Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong, winner of the 2016 Mahler Competition, has an intense 2017/18 season illustrating the rapid ascent of his career. Wong opened the season with a return to the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra on October 5 and 6 and then made his debut at the Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste on October 13 and 14.
Kahchun Wong came to international attention in 2016 when he won the Mahler Competition conducting the Bamberg Symphony. On October 21 and 22, 2017 Wong returns to the Bamberg Symphony for his subscription debut conducting Haydn's Symphony No. 44, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Concert Fantasy and Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique," and the world premiere of a work by Walter Zimmermann.
A protégé of the late Kurt Masur, Wong assisted Gustavo Dudamel and Esa-Pekka Salonen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as Valery Gergiev and Yannick Nézet-Séguin with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He began learning the cornet at age 7 and went on to study composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore and conducting at the Hanns-Eisler Musikhochschule in Berlin. He continued his conducting studies with Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Easter Festival, Robert Spano at the Aspen Music Festival, and Gustav Meier at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music, where he was a recipient of the Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship.
Following his victory at the Mahler Competition, Wong was appointed a Conducting Fellow for the 2016/17 season with the Los Angeles Philharmonic by Gustavo Dudamel, himself a laureate of the Mahler Competition. In October 2016, Wong made his last-minute debut with the Nuremberg Symphony after which he was appointed its next Chief Conductor beginning in the 2018/19 season. This December, he rejoins the Nuremberg Symphony for a two-week tour of China conducting a challenging variety of ambitious programs that include Brahms' Symphony No. 2, Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, and Schubert's Unfinished Symphony.
On October 31, 2017, Wong makes his debut conducting the Konzerthausorchester Berlin in scenes from Puccini's La bohème, Stravinky's Firebird Suite, and Alexander Arutjunjan's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra. On November 10, 2017, he will make his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan conducting Mahler's Symphony No. 2 and Das Knaben Wunderhorn with baritone Thomas Hampson, followed by his debut with the Orchestre Nationale du Capitole de Toulouse on November 17 and 18 conducting Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Concert Fantasy and Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 9.
The 2017/18 season sees Wong making a number of important European and Asian debuts, including with the Czech Philharmonic, Orquestra de València, Tokyo Symphony, Kanagawa Philharmonic, and Shenzhen Symphony. Wong will also return to lead the China Philharmonic, Kunming Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, and Singapore Symphony. In Summer 2018, Wong will lead Klassik Open Air, the largest European outdoor festival of classical music held in Berlin's famous Gendarmenmarkt.
In addition to his international career, Wong is dedicated to using music to build bridges between communities and giving back to the community that nurtured him. In March 2015, he curated and led a composition academy for Southeast Asian composers that focused on the exploration of instruments from around the world. Together with Marina Mahler, Wong co-founded Project Infinitude, a ground-up arts initiative embracing children from diverse backgrounds. From November 2016 to March 2017, Project Infinitude launched its pilot program at the Enabling Village in Singapore, a space where people of different abilities are welcome to be who they are. After the success of the pilot, Wong and Mahler hope to expand the project to cities and countries around the world. Last March, Wong was honored by a commission from Singapore's Ministry of Education to compose his "Sunny Island" March for the Singapore Youth Festival. The piece was performed by nearly 150 school bands with students ages 13 to 16 years old. A former participant in the Singapore Youth Festival himself, Wong was thrilled to have the opportunity to inspire and support the next generation of Singaporean talent.
For more information on Project Infinitude: mahlerfoundation.org/youth/project-infinitude/
Here are Kahchun Wong's complete concerts for the 2017/2018 season:
October 13, 14: Teatro Lirico di Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste
October 21, 22: Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
October 31: Konzerthausorchester Berlin
November 10: National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan
November 17, 18: Orchestre Nationale du Capitole de Toulouse
November 28 - December 10: China Tour with Nuremberg Symphony
December 17: Kunming Symphony Orchestra
December 24: Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
January 6: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
March 17: Nuremberg Symphony
April 6: Orquestra de València
May 19: Tokyo Symphony Orchestra
June 16: China Philharmonic Orchestra
July 6: Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra