Biography

Conductor

XIAN ZHANG is currently in her sixth season as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. She also holds the positions of Principal Guest Conductor of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, having previously served as their Music Director.

European engagements this season and the next include the Philharmonia Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Warsaw Philharmonic, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. In recent seasons, she has conducted Orchestre National de Lyon at the Paris Philharmonie and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Recent and upcoming engagements include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and the Metropolitan Opera, where she makes her debut in 2024. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 2018; she returns to lead the Orchestra in December of this year.

Xian Zhang has previously served as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales and was the first woman to hold a titled conductor role with a BBC orchestra. In 2002, she won first prize in the Maazel-Vilar Conductor’s Competition. She was appointed New York Philharmonic’s assistant conductor in 2002, subsequently becoming their associate conductor and the first holder of the Arturo Toscanini Chair.