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 following a hugely successful period from 2009–2016 as their Music Director.
European engagements this season and the next include Philharmonia Orchestra (Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde), La Verdi in Milan, Spanish National Orchestra, the orchestra of Komische Oper in Berlin, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Warsaw Philharmonic and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. In recent seasons, she has conducted the Orchestre National de Lyon at the Paris Philharmonie (Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique), and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France as part of La Folle Journée festival in Nantes.
Upcoming US engagements include returns to San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Detroit, Minnesota, Montreal, NAC Ottawa, and Toronto Symphony orchestras.
In the opera world last season, Xian Zhang will make her debut with The Metropolitan Opera in 2024. She has recently conducted Tosca for Cincinnati Opera. Previous opera engagements have included Nabucco with Welsh National Opera, Otello with Savonlinna Festival, La Traviata for Den Norske Opera (Oslo), La Bohème for English National Opera and La forza del destino with National Opera, Washington D.C.
Xian Zhang has previously served as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales and was the first female conductor to hold a titled 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.