“When conductor Xian Zhang lifts her arms to begin the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 2016 season on Oct. 27, she will be directing her first concert as the symphony’s new music director and making NJSO history as the first woman to hold that position,” writes Natalie Pompilio on Sunday (10/23) at NJ.com. “She’s familiar with many of the orchestra members from past guest conducting appearances, beginning in 2010. ‘I felt very comfortable from the very first time…. It really started as love at first sight, from the first time we met,’ she said…. This season Zhang will conduct seven NJSO subscription classical concerts.… NJSO President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst, who also recently joined the orchestra … had already seen Zhang conduct. ‘She is a powerhouse,’ said van Aalst…. Zhang … said one of her longer term goals is energizing the orchestra’s sound, bringing a ‘more vibrant, fuller sound.’ … Another goal is to introduce the orchestra to more New Jersey residents, including the younger generation. She regularly brings her two sons, ages 7 and 4, to classical musical performances.” Says Zhang, “My hope is that 10 years from now, that’s who is going to come to our concerts.”

Posted October 26, 2016

Pictured: Xian Zhang conducts the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra during a rehearsal at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Photo by Matt Smith / NJ Advance Media