Girls Inc. Summer Campers Preview The Houston Symphony's Upcoming Mendelssohn's 'Scottish' Concert

By: Jun. 20, 2018
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Girls Inc. Summer Campers Preview The Houston Symphony's  Upcoming Mendelssohn's 'Scottish' Concert Girls Inc. summer campers will preview the Houston Symphony's upcoming Mendelssohn's "Scottish" concert and meet the guest conductor, Elim Chan, one of the rising women conductors leading major symphonic orchestras around the world during rehearsal on Friday, June 22 at 10 a.m. The campers will meet Chan following rehearsal at 12:30 p.m.

The first female winner of the 2014 Donatella Flick competition, Chan is the 32-year-old Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the recently appointed Chief Conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. Chan will be making her Houston Symphony debut on Friday as part of ExxonMobil's Summer Symphony Nights, a family-friendly series that introduces the community to rising stars as part of Miller's free summer programs.

"We want girls to imagine a future where the words 'glass ceiling' are past tense, and Elim Chan is certainly someone who is paving the way. Capturing enthusiasm and sharing potential, Girls Inc. camps inspire girls to dream big and see themselves in all kinds of roles," stated Ellen Efsic, Girls Inc.'s Executive Director. "These two weeks featured different activities and introductions to exciting professions including conducting experiments with med students, visiting the Biorythms exhibit at the Health Museum and running soccer drills with Houston Dash players. For the girls to attend the Symphony's rehearsal and to meet Elim Chan is both fun and exciting for them."

"Orchestral conducting is still a male-dominated field, but talented musicians like Elim Chan are changing that," said Rebecca Zabinski, Houston Symphony Artistic Administrator. "We are so pleased to welcome the young ladies of Girls, Inc. to our rehearsal, and we hope that seeing a strong leader like Ms. Chan can inspire the girls to pursue their own dreams with the same intensity that this conductor brings to the podium."

Born in Hong Kong, Elim Chan became the first female winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in December 2014. As a result, she held the position of assistant conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in the 2015-16 season and was appointed to the Dudamel Fellowship program with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the 2016-17 season.

Beginning this season, Elim holds the position as principal conductor of the orchestra of NorrlandsOperan with a symphony season in Umeå and concert tours in Sweden, including stops at Stockholm Konserthuset and Göteborg Konserthuset. She becomes principal guest conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Highlights this season include debuts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Orchestra national de Lyon, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, among others. Elim will return to the London Symphony Orchestra for concerts in London and at the Music Academy of the West near Santa Barbara, and to the Orquesta Filarmónica de Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico where she is principal guest conductor.

Recent notable highlights include her North American debuts with orchestras in Berkeley, Detroit and Chicago; the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra; the Lucerne Festival with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra; Orchestra Philharmonie Luxembourg; National Orchestra of Belgium; The Australian Youth Orchestra and Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria as well as a return visit to the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Previous engagements include her debuts with National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa, and in 2012, with the Orchestre de la Francophonie as part of the NAC Summer Music Institute where she worked with Pinchas Zukerman, her participation in the Musical Olympus Festival in St. Petersburg, workshops with the Cabrillo Festival and Baltimore orchestras (with Marin Alsop, Gerard Schwarz and Gustav Meier). She also took part in masterclasses with Bernard Haitink in Lucerne in 2015.

Elim Chan holds degrees from Smith College and the University of Michigan where she served as music director of the University of Michigan Campus Symphony Orchestra and the Michigan Pops Orchestra. She received the Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship in 2013.

Girls Inc. of Greater Houston is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Through after-school enrichment programs and day camps, trained facilitators engage girls in interactive learning opportunities, introduce mentors, and provide encouragement to help girls be and grow into community leaders. Through Girls Inc. programs and resources, girls build confidence and embrace positive decision-making to take charge of their health and wellbeing, and achieve academic, personal and career goals. A local affiliate of the national organization, Girls Incorporated is a recognized leader in the research, design and delivery of educational programming for girls ages 6-18.

During the 2018-19 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fifth season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada and continues its second century as one of America's leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony's four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston.

The Grammy Award-winning Houston Symphony has recorded under various prestigious labels, including Naxos, Koch International Classics, Telarc, RCA Red Seal, Virgin Classics and, most recently, Dutch recording label PENTATONE. In 2017, the Houston Symphony was awarded an ECHO Klassik award for the live recording of Alban Berg's Wozzeck under the direction of former Music Director Hans Graf. The orchestra earned its first Grammy nomination and Grammy Award at the 60th annual ceremony for the same recording in the Best Opera Recording category.

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