An innovative and passionate force both on and off the conductor’s podium, Singaporean-born conductor Kahchun Wong is one of Asia’s most dynamic young conductors. In August 2013, he was awarded 1st Prize at the 4th International Conducting Competition “Jeunesses Musicales Bucharest”, making a huge impression with his natural musical instinct and an astonishing maturity. Following the competition finals, he was engaged for two televised performances with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, which immediately followed with re-invitations for four subscription concerts over the next two seasons. In 2011, Wong was named 2nd Prizewinner of the 5th Lovro von Matacic Competition for Young Conductors in Zagreb, Croatia.
Recent and upcoming professional engagements include the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Konzerthausorchester, Croatian RTV Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Leipziger Sinfonieorchester, Lucerne Festival Academy, Maerzmusik Festival in Berlin, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Musical Olympus Festival, Oltenia State Philharmonic Orchestra, Oradea State Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra (Argentina), Sibiu State Philharmonic Orchestra, St.Petersburg Capella Symphony Orchestra, St.Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra.
In 2015, notable local engagements include his professional debut with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Lyric Opera as well as writing a composition to be premiered by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, becoming the first local musician to have conducted both national orchestras in subscription performances. He will also return to the NUS Arts Festival, curating a programme with the Asian Contemporary Ensemble which features 6 new works by international prize-winning composers for the acclaimed violin soloist Ryu Goto.
A protégé of Kurt Masur, Wong was handpicked by the maestro to attend five of his highly sought-after international conducting seminars, which culminated in a week of assistantship at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in September 2013. He has also participated in conducting masterclasses by Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Easter Festival, Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Singapore Sun Festival and Heinz Holliger at the Lucerne Festival Academy. In 2011 and 2012, Wong spent two summers as a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, studying with Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff and Larry Rachleff.
Born in 1986, Wong started composition studies with Phoon Yew Tien and continued with Professor Ho Chee Kong at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music under a full scholarship. On graduation, he was immediately offered a conducting assistantship by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, which included mentorship by Yeh Tsung and performance opportunities in the regular concert season. As the first-ever recipient of the distinguished Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship (Public Service Commission) in the field of Arts and Culture, he continued his studies in opera and orchestral conducting with Christian Ehwald at the Hanns-Eisler Musikhochschule in Berlin, Germany.