Wong Kah Chun Named Chief Conductor ​​Of Japan Philharmonic Orchestra

By Chong Seow Wei

The 35-year-old Singaporean conductor will begin the five-year stint in September 2023

Tatler Asia
Cover  Singaporean conductor Wong Kah Chun

Singaporean conductor Wong Kah Chun has been named the chief conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. He will assume the role in September 2023. 

The 35-year-old is currently the principal guest conductor of the Tokyo-based orchestra since 2021. He also helms Germany’s Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra as its first Asian chief conductor—a role he’s held since 2018.

Wong received international recognition after becoming the first Asian to win the prestigious international Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition for young conductors in 2016. That same year, he started an educational musical initiative called Project Infinitude with Marina Mahler, the granddaughter of revered Austrian composer Gustav Mahler.

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Since then, the protégé of the late German conductor Kurt Masur has seen his career soar to greater heights. In 2019, he was conferred the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his achievements and contributions to Singaporean-German cultural relations and for spreading German music abroad. 

Next month, he will make his debut at the Dresdner Music Festival in Germany, conducting the Dresden Philharmonic.

With his new appointment at the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, he will lead 12 concerts every season at Suntory Hall, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and other venues as part of an extensive tour across Japan.

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