Elim Chan

One of the most sought-after artists of her generation, Elim Chan performs an unusually wide-ranging repertory of symphonic works extending from the Classical period to the present day. The Sunday Times describes Elim Chan as “a rare example of a young conductor at once brilliant and not in the least showing off.”

In January 2022, the Boston Classical Review spoke of a “marvel of control and understanding” after Chan’s debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra: “Chan was the night’s revelation. As a conductor, she’s the embodiment of the principle that less is more. Like Fritz Reiner or Bernard Haitink, she’s not overly demonstrative on the podium. But her beat is clear, gestures economical and cues precise. Also, she has an exceptionally sensitive ear.”

Chan was guest conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra from 2018 to 2023 and has been principal conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra since 2019. In her last season as chief conductor, she will present the orchestra in the Benelux in the 2023-24 season, with among others, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and soloists including Sol Gabetta and Midori.

Highlights of the 2023-24 season include debuts with the Salzburg Festival, the Orchestre de Paris, the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Staatskapelle Dresden and the New York Philharmonic. Further debuts in North America are scheduled with the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, as well as the Minnesota Orchestra and Seattle Symphony. In Europe, first collaborations will take place with the Danish National Orchestra and the radio orchestras of the German broadcasters SWR, RSB and WDR. Reinvitations this season will take Chan to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Oslo Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. In spring 2023, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León announced a three-year collaboration with Chan as associate conductor, focusing on Stravinsky’s ballets.

A native of Hong Kong, Chan studied at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, and at the University of Michigan. In 2014, she was the first female winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, enabling her to spend the 2015-16 season as assistant conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra, where she worked closely with Valery Gergiev. For the following season, Chan joined the Dudamel Fellowship program of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She also owes much to the support and encouragement of Bernard Haitink, whose master classes she attended in Lucerne in 2015. In recent seasons, Chan celebrated debuts, among others, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra.

August 2023

Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.