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MSO announces Xian Zhang as Principal Guest Conductor in 2020

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The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra today announced that internationally acclaimed conductor Xian Zhang has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor commencing in 2020.

Xian Zhang is a sought-after conductor across the globe. She was the first female conductor to hold a titled role with a BBC Orchestra, and is currently the Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Following her hugely successful performances with the MSO in 2018, she was immediately invited to return to the orchestra in November 2020 to conduct an international cast of singers and the MSO Chorus in the ultimate masterpiece, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, as part of the worldwide Beethoven 250 year anniversary celebrations.

To complement this work, Zhang will conduct the Australian premiere of Choral Concerto Nine, a response to Beethoven 9 by MSO Artistic Ambassador Tan Dun, and an MSO co-commission with the Philharmonic Society of London who commissioned the original 9th.

MSO’s Managing Director Sophie Galaise said the appointment would continue the Orchestra’s established reputation in delivering exceptional performances to national and international audiences.

“We are honoured to announce the appointment of Xian and welcome her to our artistic family in our 2020 Season. Xian has an impressive international reputation and together we look forward to bringing new and exciting music to concert halls across Victoria and the world in 2020,’’ said Ms Galaise.

“I have always been tremendously impressed with the level of playing which Melbourne Symphony Orchestra can achieve. Each time I have worked with them, our relationship grows stronger and stronger, and I am therefore now really looking forward to consolidating our work together. Exciting times.” – Xian Zhang