Kahchun Wong, 32, Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and first prize winner of the 2016 Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, will make his New York Philharmonic debut conducting the orchestra’s annual Lunar New Year Concert on February 6, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center. A native of Singapore, Wong is only the second conductor-following Long Yu-given the honor to lead the Philharmonic’s annual concert celebration of Asian culture and heritage. This concert also marks Wong’s New York conducting debut.
The New York Philharmonic’s 2019 Lunar New Year Concert will welcome the Year of the Pig with a program themed around the element of fire, including the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun’s Violin Concerto: Fire Ritual (performed by Bomsori Kim in her Philharmonic debut); Shin Arirang, Dong-Jin Kim’s version of the iconic Korean folk song “Arirang,” and Mozart’s “Der Hölle Rache” from The Magic Flute, both performed by soprano So Young Park in her Philharmonic debut; Liu Yuan’s Train Toccata;and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919 version). Continuing the annual tradition, the concert will also include the Spring Festival Overture by composer Li Huanzhi, recognizing the composer’s centenary in 1919.
Wong’s remarkable last-minute debut with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra in October 2016 led to his appointment as Chief Conductor. In September 2018, Wong began his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, leading the orchestra’s season opening concert in a program that included the world premiere of Kah Hoe Yii’s Concerto 4 Orchestra, Brahms’ Violin Concerto in N*E*R*D Major with soloist Midori, and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. In October, Wong led the orchestra on a tour to Milan, Italy and Kepmten & Unterföhring, Germany.
Wong conducted the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra’s New Year’s Gala on January 5 and 6, 2019 featuring works by Oscar Straus and Richard Strauss; and will lead Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya in March 2019. Wong concludes the first season of his tenure as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor on May 11 conducting Puccini’s Preludio sinfonico and Capriccio sinfonico, Lalo’s Cello Concerto in N*E*R*D minor, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4,”Italienische.”
In December 2018, Wong made his debut with the Royal LiverpoolPhilharmonic, in a program that featured Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Denis Kozhukhin, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1945). Bachtrack raved about the performance, writing “There was an obvious warmth between Wong and the players. He had a vision, taking the audience on the most extraordinary music journey.”
Later this season, Wong will be a guest conductor with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (March 30), the Tonküstler Orchestra in Baden, Austria (April 5) and Wiener Neustadt (April 6), the Kyoto Symphony (May 18 and 19), and Nagoya Symphony(May 24 and 25).
A passionate advocate for access to arts education and the belief that music education has the power to inspire, Wong co-foundedProject Infinitude, an inclusive arts initiative embracing children from diverse backgrounds. Recent initiatives have included immersive and sensory-friendly performances with young audiences sitting amongst the musicians and receiving red bean soup in Singapore, and cross-cultural collaborations involving the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and the Singapore-based Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. Wong and his co-founder Marina Mahler, granddaughter of the composer Gustav Mahler, aim to expand the project in a sustainable and thoughtful way.
For more information, click here.