Glowing Reviews Following Xian Zhang’s Returns to Seattle Symphony & National Symphony Orchestra DC

23 Apr 2024

On 04-06 April, Xian Zhang returned to Seattle Symphony, conducting Copland’s Appalachian Spring, preceded by Dorothy Chang’s Northern Star and Korngold’s Violin Concerto with Ray Chen.

The following week, Xian returned to National Symphony Orchestra in DC, with whom she performed Dvorak’s New World Symphony (No. 9) on 11-13 April. The programme also featured Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade for Orchestra and Billy Child’s Saxophone Concerto with Steven Banks.

The reviews Xian received were unanimous in their praise:

“…the auspicious return of conductor Xian Zhang, a welcome presence on the podium.  As the head of the New Jersey Symphony, Zhang has been quietly building her reputation as one of the most electrifying conductors in the United States… Zhang’s command of the piece was evident, and her crisp, elegant direction molded passages and extracted sonic wonders from the orchestra… a performance which brimmed with energy, vivid colors and impeccable detail… Xian Zhang was a revelation in her latest appearance with the Seattle Symphony, and the two concerts she will conduct next year should be required listening” – Seen and Heard International

“The… buzz coming from New Jersey, where conductor Xian Zhang has been making a big impression… one of the more powerhouse showings from a guest conductor that I’ve witnessed… the joyous crackle she brings to her conducting…Zhang taking clear pleasure in bringing the scale from a grand landscape to intimate portraiture…folks were rapt” – The Washington Post

“Zhang brings sense of mission and discipline to wide-ranging NSO programme…[she] immediately asserted control…drew out a velvety string sound…her ideas about tempo, balance and attack are all well thought out…Zhang used her careful gestures to manage ensemble balances expertly… Zhang took her time bringing out all of Dvořák’s sometimes wondrous tone colors… The third movement, thanks to Zhang’s confident gestures, has rarely sounded so rhythmically unified” – Washington Classical Review

Xian soon returns to the Metropolitan Opera for the third run Puccini’s Madama Butterfly which she has been conducting this season to great acclaim. Featuring Asmik Grigorian in the title role, the performances begin on 26 April and run through till 11 May.

Other upcoming highlights include summer engagements with the Orchestra of St Luke’s, Los Angeles Philharmonic at Hollywood Bowl, Philadelphia Orchestra in Saratoga, and Xian’s return to Boston Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra in the autumn for subscription concerts.

Photo Credit: B Ealovega