Hailed by Musical America for the depth and sincerity of his musicality, the Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong came to international attention as winner of the Mahler Competition in May 2016, following in the footsteps of Gustavo Dudamel, who immediately appointed him as a Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the 2016/2017 season. Following a remarkable last-minute debut with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra in October 2016, he was appointed as its next Chief Conductor from the 2018/2019 season.
Highlights in 2017 and 2018 include European debuts with the Czech Philharmonic, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Orchestre Capitole du Toulouse, Staatskapelle Weimar, Staatsphilharmonie Rhineland-Pfalz, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Teatro lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste and Orquestra de València, Asian debuts with the Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Kanagawa Philharmonic, National Symphony of Taiwan and Shenzhen Symphony, as well as re-invitations to the Bamberg Symphony, China Philharmonic, George Enescu Philharmonic, Kunming Symphony, Shanghai Symphony and Singapore Symphony. Together with the Nuremberg Symphony, he will embark on an extensive tour of China in December 2017, and in summer 2018, lead Klassik Open Air, the largest European outdoor festival of classical music.
A protégé of the late Kurt Masur, Wong had the privilege of sharing the podium together with him in his last years on multiple occasions. He has also assisted Gustavo Dudamel and Esa-Pekka Salonen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as Valery Gergiev and Yannick Nezet-Seguin with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. In January 2018, he will travel with Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra on its North American tour.
Wong began musical studies on the cornet at the age of 7. After serving as a military musician in the Singapore Armed Forces for two years, he studied composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore and conducting at the Hanns-Eisler Musikhochschule in Berlin. He has studied with Bernard Haitink twice at the Lucerne Easter Festival, Robert Spano at the Aspen Music Festival and Gustav Meier at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music, where he was a recipient of the Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship.