Xian Zhang is music director of the New Jersey Symphony.

In last Monday’s (5/14) CBS Evening News, Norah O’ Donnell states, “As we celebrate Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, CBS’s Nancy Chen has the storying of an inspiring maestro who’s breaking barriers while hitting all the right notes. New York’s Metropolitan Opera sets the tone as one of the world’s most prestigious stages and conductor Xian Zhang is helping to shape its sound. The groundbreaking maestro born in China made her guest debut earlier this year as one of the first Asian-American women to lead from its podium. Q. ‘In the U.S. only about one in four music directors are people of color and even fewer are women. Do you think it was harder as a woman as a person of color?’ A: ‘The double standard—oh, absolutely. But to be within this group one also has to learn how to grow from it …’ … Zhang passes [on her] experience on while also leading the New Jersey Symphony in her eighth season as its first female music director. And as she blazes a new path Zhang hopes the music itself strikes the highest note of all.” Find more statistics on orchestras in the League of American Orchestras’ EDI Data Hub.