Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong is Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and the newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. Praised by Musical America for the “depth and sincerity of his musicality,” he first came to international attention as the winner of the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in 2016.
Highlights in 2021-22 include notable debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, in addition to re-engagements with the Bamberg Symphony, Orquesta de Valencia, and Tokyo Philharmonic, where he curated a special gala featuring Toru Takemitsu’s rarely performed Arc cycle. Celebrated by the press for his recent debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Wong has also appeared with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre national d'Île-de-France, Osaka Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony during the 2020-21 season.
A protégé of the late Kurt Masur, Wong had the privilege of sharing the podium with him on multiple occasions in his final years. In 2016-17, he was invited to the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a Dudamel Fellow, participating in a prestigious program for burgeoning young conductors. He received a Master of Music degree in orchestral and operatic conducting at the Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule, in Berlin.
Wong believes in the power of music to inspire young musicians and foster their growth, mirroring his own journey as a musician from a young Southeast Asian country. In 2016, he co-founded Project Infinitude with Marina Mahler, the granddaughter of Gustav Mahler. Over the next few years, he worked closely with Child at Street 11, a nonprofit Singaporean agency supporting more than 100 children from underserved and diverse backgrounds. In 2019, together with BR-Klassik and Stadtsparkasse Nürnberg, he conceived and led PACHELBEL.VIER.NULL, a collaborative television project that raised donations for Sternstunden e.V., a nonprofit association for children in Germany. During the 2020 pandemic, he convened over 1,000 international musicians to perform a digital sing-along of Beethoven's Ode to Joy for ChildAid, an annual charity event in Singapore, raising close to two million dollars for the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and Business Times Budding Artists Fund.
In December 2019, and just 33, Wong became the first artist from Singapore to receive the Order of Merit by the Federal President of Germany for his dedicated service and outstanding achievements in Singaporean-German cultural relations and the advancement of German musical culture abroad.