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Elim Chan (Chinese: 陳以琳; born 1986) is a Hong Kong-born conductor. She is currently chief conductor of NorrlandsOperan and of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra.

Elim Chan
Elim chan-1547940008.jpg
Native name
Chinese: 陳以琳
Born1986 (age 32–33)
Years active2014–present

Early lifeEdit

In 1986, Chan was born in Hong Kong.[1] As a youth, she played cello and piano, and sang in choirs.[2][3] Chan attended the Good Hope School (Form One).


Chan was a sixth-form student at Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong.

Chan began studies at Smith College in the USA with the initial intent of becoming a medical doctor. Following an initial experience in conducting during her second year of college, she changed her path of study and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 2009.

Chan moved to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor for graduate studies in music. At Michigan, her teachers included Kenneth Kiesler. She was music director of the University of Michigan Campus Symphony Orchestra, and of the Michigan Pops Orchestra (2012-2013). She earned her MM degree in orchestra conducting from Michigan in 2011, and her Doctor of Musical Arts in 2015.[2]


In December 2014, at age 28, Chan won the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, the first female conductor to win the competition in its history.[4][5][6] [1] As part of winning the competition, she was subsequently named assistant conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, for a one-year contract from 2015-2016.[7] She has also participated in master classes in conducting with Bernard Haitink.

In April 2016, NorrlandsOperan announced the appointment of Chan as its next chief conductor, effective in 2017, with an initial contract of 3 years.[8] In January 2017, she made her first guest-conducting appearance with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). She returned as guest conductor with the RSNO a fortnight later as an emergency substitute for Neeme Järvi.[9] Based on these appearances, in June 2017, the RSNO appointed Chan as its next principal guest conductor, effective 2018.[10]

In November 2017, Chan first guest-conducted the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. She returned as guest conductor in Antwerp in March 2018. Based on these appearances, in May 2018, the orchestra announced the appointment of Chan as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2019-2020 season.[11] Chan is both the first female conductor, and the youngest conductor, ever to be named chief conductor of the orchestra.


  1. ^ a b Chou, Oliver (January 2, 2015). "Conductor Elim Chan achieves dream of working with Ferrari orchestra". Retrieved January 12, 2019. Birth year of 1986 is based on age 28 in Dec 2014.
  2. ^ a b Tanya Madhani (2015-01-06). "Rackham student wins elite music competition". Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  3. ^ Toby Deller (2016-05-04). "Meet the Maestro: Elim Chan". Classical Music Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  4. ^ Imogen Tilden (2014-12-09). "Elim Chan wins 2014 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  5. ^ Michael White (2014-12-10). "In a Battle of the Batons, a Barely Visible Alchemy: Elim Chan's Flick Conducting Prize Is Rare Win for a Woman". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  6. ^ "U-M student wins 2014 Donatella Flick LSO conducting competition" (Press release). University of Michigan. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  7. ^ Oliver Chou (2005-01-02). "Conductor Elim Chan achieves dream of working with a 'Ferrari' orchestra". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  8. ^ "NorrlandsOperan utser Elim Chan till ny chefdirigent" (Press release). NorrlandsOperan. 13 April 2016. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  9. ^ Susan Nickalls (2017-02-21). "Music review: The RSNO & Elim Chan". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  10. ^ "RSNO Principal Guest Conductor appointment" (Press release). Royal Scottish National Orchestra. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  11. ^ "Antwerp Symphony Orchestra stelt Elim Chan aan als chef-dirigent" (Press release). Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-18.

External linksEdit