Han-Na Chang
Conductor

“…confident, astute, inspired. Ms Chang is the epitome of the incredible lightness of being: agile, nimble and bang on the beat.” (The Liverpool Echo)

Contacts

Jasper Parrott +44 (0)20 7229 9166
Iarlaith Carter +44 (0)20 3725 9162
Katie MacDonald +44 (0)20 3725 9141

Biography

Principal Guest Conductor: Trondheim Symfoniorkester (Chief Conductor & Artistic Leader from 2017/18)

 

Korean-American conductor Han-Na Chang will take up the position of Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester in August 2017. Up until then, she continues as the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, a post she has held since the 2013/14 season. 

As a guest conductor, she has worked with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gothenburg Symphony, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Bamberger Symphoniker, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cincinnati, St Louis, Indianapolis and Seattle Symphony orchestras, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli and the Noord Nederlands Orkest, amongst others. She also made an acclaimed conducting debut at the BBC Proms in September 2014.

Principal Guest Conductor: Trondheim Symfoniorkester (Chief Conductor & Artistic Leader from 2017/18)

 

Korean-American conductor Han-Na Chang will take up the position of Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester in August 2017. Up until then, she continues as the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, a post she has held since the 2013/14 season. 

As a guest conductor, she has worked with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gothenburg Symphony, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Bamberger Symphoniker, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cincinnati, St Louis, Indianapolis and Seattle Symphony orchestras, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli and the Noord Nederlands Orkest, amongst others. She also made an acclaimed conducting debut at the BBC Proms in September 2014.

Having made her first professional appearance as a conductor in 2007, Chang founded the Absolute Classic Festival in Korea, which nurtured and fostered young orchestral talent every summer from 2009 to 2014. Chang also produced a documentary series introducing the symphonies of Beethoven to a wider audience for MBC TV.

Her professional music career started at the age of 11, when she won the Rostropovich International Cello Competition in 1994. Chang went on to perform with orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philadelphia Orchestra, l'Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago and San Francisco Symphony orchestras. Her recordings, exclusively for EMI Classics, have received ECHO Klassik, Caecilia and Cannes Classical awards, as well as a Gramophone Concerto of the Year accolade among others, and remain world-wide bestsellers.

Han-Na Chang studied Philosophy at Harvard University and currently serves as the Roving Goodwill Ambassador for the Korean Red Cross.

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Contacts

Jasper Parrott +44 (0)20 7229 9166
Iarlaith Carter +44 (0)20 3725 9162
Katie MacDonald +44 (0)20 3725 9141

Reviews

“Chang is graceful, strong, charismatic and deeply musical, and she seemed to have total rapport with the musicians of the orchestra….Chang, conducting without a score, showed an impressive command of the material from the opening phrases to the dynamic finale, with a thrilling reading…. she kept firm and inspired control of the orchestra, and of the music’s direction, throughout the symphony. The audience rewarded the performers with a thunderous and well-deserved ovation. Chang’s a conductor on the way up.” (St Louis Post-Dispatch, November 2016)

“The quite sensational interpretation of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony proved that she's not any ordinary conductor... Here Chang once more brought across the story through brave transitions and brisk tempi...Brava, maestra!” (Johanna Paulsson, Dagens Nyheter, April 2016)

“With the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, she found the spiritual depth of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. At 33-years-old, Han-Na Chang is simply one of this generation's most exciting conductors. She shaped Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in a way that gave new insight into one of the most regularly performed orchestral works. She dared to make unexpected choices related to the form of the work, but everything still fitted in very clearly with the meticulously shaped whole.” (Lars O. Flydal, Vårt Land, January 2016)

“Chang is graceful, strong, charismatic and deeply musical, and she seemed to have total rapport with the musicians of the orchestra….Chang, conducting without a score, showed an impressive command of the material from the opening phrases to the dynamic finale, with a thrilling reading…. she kept firm and inspired control of the orchestra, and of the music’s direction, throughout the symphony. The audience rewarded the performers with a thunderous and well-deserved ovation. Chang’s a conductor on the way up.” (St Louis Post-Dispatch, November 2016)

“The quite sensational interpretation of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony proved that she's not any ordinary conductor... Here Chang once more brought across the story through brave transitions and brisk tempi...Brava, maestra!” (Johanna Paulsson, Dagens Nyheter, April 2016)

“With the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, she found the spiritual depth of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. At 33-years-old, Han-Na Chang is simply one of this generation's most exciting conductors. She shaped Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in a way that gave new insight into one of the most regularly performed orchestral works. She dared to make unexpected choices related to the form of the work, but everything still fitted in very clearly with the meticulously shaped whole.” (Lars O. Flydal, Vårt Land, January 2016)

“Under guest conductor Han-Na Chang's leadership on Friday morning, the orchestra's performance was as fresh and exciting as one could wish for… it was intriguing to witness her gifts again… a rising star conductor…Chang has a clear and dynamic style on the podium. Leading 'Pictures at an Exhibition' without a score, she vividly conveyed the mood and character of each painting, yet never lost the arc of the entire work... 'The Great Gate of Kiev' was a stunning summation. Here, Chang did not push ahead, but held back the tempo, taking full advantage of the splendor of the brass in Music Hall's magnificent space. Best of all, her leadership allowed orchestral soloists to shine.” (Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer, February 2015)

“Chang, a diminutive, dynamic firebrand... the ferocious drive was still present in the hair-raising first movement allegro and the elated finale. But there was also a beautiful, honeyed introspection in the andante, and real finesse and detail in the waltz. It was a hugely enjoyable Prom.” (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, September 2014)

“[Chang's] conducting this afternoon was quite outstanding. Her style is often understated: small, precise beats and cues, much of it led from the wrist rather than the shoulder, with glowing beams of encouragement to her players. Her gestures grew more expansive in the Tchaikovsky, where tempo choices, shaping of phrases and application of rubato showed imagination. After a darkly lugubrious opening on clarinets, the Allegro con anima found Chang whipping up a maelstrom in the brass and timpani. The Andante cantabile was characterized by a gorgeously played horn solo. Brass often tended towards the excitable and raucous – there was no lack of passion in this exhilarating interpretation.” (Bachtrack, September 2014)

“Remorseless Fate dominates this roaring symphony [Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.4] in which conductor Han-Na Chang released the music in torrents: it was an interpretation of extreme dynamics. Chang enjoyed to the full the pithiness of the work as well as its Romanticism, drawing brilliance from the woodwinds and brass and compact energy from the strings. At the end there was enormous applause for this demonstration of orchestral class.” (Kultur, December 2012)

“With rhythmic and dynamic finesse, Han-Na Chang drew immaculate contributions from the brass and woodwind and delivered a meaningful interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Absolutely top class!” (Kleine Zeitung, December 2012)

“Here was not a run-of-the-mill performance by a journeyman conductor passing through, but a wholly compelling one from a true musician...one was not so much struck by the angst and suffering from this wartime symphony, but by the power and beauty of the music...A welcome return by Chang the conductor, as well as cellist, could not come soon enough” (The Straits Times, September 2012)

“But the already anticipated treat of the concert was also fully up to expectations: that still rare phenomenon, a woman conductor, in the person of South Korea's Han-Na Chang...Rostrum manner does count, and can here be summed up not only as confident and astute, but also as inspired. Ms Chang is the epitome of the incredible lightness of being: agile, nimble and bang on the beat.” (The Liverpool Echo, February 2012)

“A performance oozing soul and individuality.” (BBC Music Magazine)

“She plays with such conviction that you feel she too could have been the inspiration for great composers. Chang combines raw emotion with a structural grip that, in its way, is even more remarkable in one so young.” (Gramophone)

“Chang brings clear-sighted belief to everything she touches. Her range is generous indeed, from barely-audible ghostly voices to high-octane drama…” (BBC Music Magazine, May 2006)

“[Han-Na] has an enviable power to move her audiences…she’s a natural performer whose musicianship is intense, profound and astonishingly mature.” (The Strad)

“[She] plays with great technical assurance and produces a beautiful tone” (The New York Times)

“An extraordinary sense of fearless adventure” (The Times)

“Truly stunning performances of passion and urgency” (Classics Today)