Kahchun Wong Named Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor of The Hallé

By Afton Wooten

Photo credit: Tom Stephens/Hallé

The Hallé has announced Kahchun Wong as its new principal conductor and artistic advisor, as well as Thomas Adès as an artist in residence for two years.

September will mark the start of Wong’s initial five-year contract. For the first time since the announcement, Wong will conduct the Hallé at Bridgewater Hall on June 24 as part of the Manchester Classical Festival. Next year, the Singaporean conductor will lead the Hallé on a tour of Spain before returning to conduct Fauré’s “Requiem” at Bridgewater Hall on May 2, 2024.

Wong said in a press release, “I am deeply honored to be the new Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Hallé. It is an orchestra I have always admired for its beautiful sound and tradition. It is a privilege to become a part of Manchester’s vibrant cultural scene and to continue the high standards of music making associated with Sir Mark Elder and our distinguished predecessors. I am looking forward to working with the visionary team at the Hallé in charting our artistic future together.”

Wong played in his primary school brass band and went on to compose for wind orchestras during his national service in the military band. After studying opera and orchestral conducting in Berlin, Wong became the first Asian to win the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in 2016. He will continue with his tenure as chief conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra from 2023-24 as well as his responsibilities as principal guest conductor at Dresdner Philharmonie.

Thomas Adès is a British composer, pianist, and conductor. He has composed several operas including “The Tempest” and “Powder Her Face.” In 2022 he was awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Music and Opera.

Sir Mark Elder embarks on his final run of concerts as music director in the spring of 2024. Following this he will become Conductor Emeritus after nearly 25 years.