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LA Master Chorale Welcomes Award-Winning Assistant Conductor


Following a national search, the Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) has appointed Hong Kong native Jenny Wong assistant conductor for a two-year period beginning in May 2016. Wong, who has served as a conducting fellow for the Oregon Bach Festival, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Distinguished Concerts International New York and Hong Kong SingFest, is one of the youngest conductors to win two consecutive World Champion titles at the World Choir Games (China, 2010) and the International Johannes Brahms Choral Competition (Germany, 2011). Currently a D.M.A. candidate in choral conducting at USC Thornton School of Music, where she also completed her M.M. and has taught choral conducting, she has served as Visiting Director of Choral Activities at University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music for the past year.

"Jenny Wong is an exceptionally gifted artist," says LAMC Artistic Director Grant Gershon. "The Los Angeles Master Chorale will benefit greatly from her tremendous skills and keen artistic sensibilities. I look forward to working closely with her over the next two seasons."

"It is my privilege to work with Grant and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, a visionary team built of formidable artists that has paved the way for how choral music today can be authentic, relevant and transformative," says Wong. "I look forward to creating lifelong memories and learning so much from them and with them, as they continue to uncover new grounds and inspire many, like they have always inspired me."

Among other responsibilities, Wong will conduct on upcoming LA Master Chorale programs, assist with rehearsals, help facilitate LAMC's 16-voice Chamber Singers and collaborate with Gershon on artistic matters. She will also cover the Artistic Director for all LAMC rehearsals and main-stage performances and assist with auditions as well as take a leadership role in LAMC outreach projects, including the High School Choir Festival, one of the region's longest running and most far-reaching music education programs.

Still in her twenties, Wong began her conducting career in 2009 as conductor and music teacher at Hong Kong's Diocesan Girls' School. Since then, she has conducted and performed in Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, China and across the United States. Her numerous accomplishments include assisting Matthew Halls in rehearsing Verdi's Requiem, and conducting the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra. She was assistant conductor of the Donald Brinegar Singers, and, at USC, she was conductor of the USC Apollo Men's Choir and recipient of the USC Chamber Singers Award. Wong has given lectures on Chinese choral music and Chinese Christian hymnody. In Hong Kong, she founded and directs her own female youth chorus, Flow Women's Voices. She also enjoys performing as a vocal soloist, having earned her undergraduate degree in voice performance at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with highest honors. She sang back-up for Elton John at the 2013 Emmy Awards and for Barry Manilow. In 2007 she won 3rd place at the 62nd Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod vocal solo competition in Wales, and studied abroad in Vienna, Austria on scholarship in 2008. Her teachers include Chet Alwes, Donald Brinegar, Simon Carrington, Ronnie Cheng, Cristian Grases, Matthew Halls, Morten Lauridsen, Larry Livingston, Helmuth Rilling, Jo-Michael Scheibe and Nick Strimple.

Previous LAMC Assistant Conductors have included Lesley Leighton, who was subsequently named Associate Conductor, and Ariel Quintana.

Giving a voice to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale is led by Artistic Director Grant Gershon. Proclaimed "the nation's most pioneering major chorus" (Los Angeles Times), it has also been hailed as "inspired" (The New York Times), "magnificent" (Chicago Tribune) and "a superb vocal ensemble" (The New York Observer). The LA Master Chorale was founded in 1964 as a resident company of The Music Center of Los Angeles County and is the resident chorus at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Presenting its own concert series each season, it performs choral music from the earliest writings to the most recent contemporary compositions. To date, the choir has commissioned 50 and premiered 99 new works, of which 69 were world premieres, and has been awarded three ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming as well as Chorus America's prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence. The LA Master Chorale has performed in more than 500 concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and has toured with the orchestra to Europe and New York City. It has also appeared at the Ojai Music Festival, the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival and the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as in leading venues throughout the Southland. Its discography includes six commercial CDs under Gershon's baton, and in summer 2016, LAMC releases its seventh recording and its first album on Cantaloupe Music, featuring the national anthems by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning composer David Lang, which was commissioned and premiered by the LA Master Chorale in 2014. LAMC previously released three CDs under former Music Director Paul Salamunovich on RCM, including the Grammy-nominated Lauridsen-Lux Aeterna. The LA Master Chorale is also featured with Gershon on the soundtracks of such major motion pictures as Lady in the Water and License to Wed. Serving more than 30,000 audience members of all ages annually, the Los Angeles Master Chorale also provides education outreach to some 9,000 students and adults each year.

Photo Courtesy of Hong Kong SingFest and Yvonne Chen

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