Conductor Han-Na Chang
Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera in Norway since 2017, and newly appointed Erste Gastdirigentin (Principal Guest Conductor) of the Symphoniker Hamburg – Laeiszhalle Orchester commencing 2022-23 season, Han-Na Chang’s prestigious and unique international career spans nearly three decades.
She first gained international recognition for her precocious musical gifts at the age of 11, when she won the First Prize and the Contemporary Music Prize at the Fifth Rostropovich International Cello Competition in Paris in 1994, awarded unanimously by the jury led by Mstislav Rostropovich. Her international career took off, taking her to all the major concert halls around the world and the world’s top orchestras as an in-demand recitalist and soloist.
Having developed an intense interest in and deep passion for the symphonic repertoire during her late teens and early twenties, she made her formal conducting debut in 2007, at the age of 24, and has since then focused her artistic output exclusively to conducting.
Han-Na Chang started her tenure as the Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera in 2017. Prior to this appointment, she served as the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor during 2013 -17. She served as the Music Director of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra during the season 2013-14, culminating in their successful and critically acclaimed performance at the 2014 BBC Proms in London. In 2009, she founded and launched the Absolute Classic Festival at Sungnam Arts Center in South Korea and served as its Artistic Director until 2014. The annual summer festival served two purposes: intense orchestral training giving its musicians a broad and deep exposure to all the major symphonic repertoire, and in turn introducing such masterpieces in exciting performances to the local audiences. Han-Na Chang has also recorded introductions and complete performances of the Beethoven Symphonies for the MBC TV in South Korea over 2007-2008.
As a guest conductor, Han-Na Chang’s upcoming appearances include the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Singapore, Atlanta, Vancouver, Detroit and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras, amongst others. She has frequently worked with orchestras such as Oslo Philharmonic, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Bamberger Symphoniker, the Toronto, Hamburg, Singapore, Tokyo, Cincinnati, St Louis, Indianapolis, Seattle, Gothenburg, Malmo and Iceland symphony orchestras, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli.
As a cellist, Han-Na Chang has performed with all the major orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philadelphia Orchestra, l’Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago, Boston and San Francisco Symphony orchestras.
Her cello recordings, exclusively for the Warner Music label have been nominated for the Grammys, awarded two ECHO Klassik awards, the 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 was born in Suwon, South Korea in December 1982. At the age of 6, she received her first cello lesson. Her family moved to New York in 1993 in order to support her continuing studies at the Juilliard School, and she has lived in New York since. At the age of 10, she also started studying with Mischa Maisky who remains her most important influence to this day, and she counts Mstislav Rostropovich and Giuseppe Sinopoli among the most influential mentors of her formative years. Han-Na Chang read Philosophy at Harvard University.