The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has appointed Elim Chan as its next principal guest conductor. She will succeed Thomas Søndergård from 2018, appearing in two or more weeks of each season.
Chan conducted the RSNO for the first time in February this year and stood in for conductor laureate Neeme Järvi less than two weeks later. Following her second appearance, the RSNO requested a more formal relationship with the conductor.
Chan is currently a Dudamel Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and will become chief conductor of Norrlands Operan from 2017/18. She became the first female conductor to win the London Symphony Orchestra’s Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2014, and as a result held the position of assistant conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra during 2015/16.
She said: ‘The first moment I joined the RSNO on-stage I already felt that something unique and gratifying was about to happen. I sensed a magical connection between the musicians and me that allowed us to make music in such a natural way, and I am grateful for everyone’s openness and kindness to me. I am thrilled to be a part of the RSNO artistic team and to explore together what’s ahead!’
RSNO chief executive Dr Krishna Thiagarajan said of Chan: ‘Her debut performance was of such chemistry that the musicians immediately called for her re-engagement. This led to an on-stage relationship that can be accurately described as inspiring and full of energy, as well as powerfully evident to the audiences. I’m excited by what this partnership will deliver for our audiences in Scotland and further afield.’
Chan’s first season as principal guest conductor, the RSNO’s 2018/19 season, will be announced in March 2018.