Monica Chen & Kelly Lin Join Women in Musical Leadership Conducting Program

By Afton Wooten

Photo credit: Tapestry Opera

The Women in Musical Leadership Conducting Program has welcomed Monica Chen and Kelly Lin to the world’s leading conducting program for women and non-binary conductors.

The two Canadian conductors will join last year’s inductees Jennifer Tung, Juliane Gallant, Naomi Woo, and Maria Fuller in the three-year program. They will be placed in conducting opportunities with orchestras, opera companies, festivals, and in mentorship and training programs nationwide.

Chen is a native of Vancouver. Since 2021 she has held the position of conducting fellows at the Orchestre Métropolitain assisting Yannick Nézet-Séguin. This season she will be the Assistant Conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and was chosen as one of three finalists at Domaine Forget chosen to perform with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec two years in a row.

Lin, a Chinese-Canadian conductor, is the founder and Artistic Director of Ensemble Lagom – an organization focusing on the “advocacy of under-represented voices.” Kelly was the recipient of the Hnatyshyn Foundation – Christa and Franz-Paul Decker Fellowship in Conducting. She has conducted at the Toronto Summer Music, Ottawa Chamberfest, and 21 Stops Music Festival.

The Women in Musical Leadership program opened its doors in 2021 with the intent to foster female and non-binary Canadian conductors. Along with partners such as Tapestry Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra have built a network for these up-and-coming conductors.