Yan Huichang

Yan Huichang

Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for Life

Yan Huichang is a Chinese music conductor of world renown. He has been with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra since June 1997.

Yan Huichang was conferred the title of National Class One Conductor at the First Professional Accreditation of China in 1987. He has received many accolades from the governments of different lands in honour of his  contribution to the development of culture, such as the ‘Cultural Medallion (Music)’ by the National Arts Council of Singapore in 2001, a Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS) by the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Overseas Award for Music at the 51st Literary and Art Works Awards in  Taiwan, and Best Conductor Award at the Golden Melody Awards for  traditional Arts and Music 2018 in Taiwan, 2022 Distinguished Artist Award by the International Society for the Performing Arts etc. He has also won conducting awards as conductor in the audio-video recordings of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the China National Symphony Orchestra and the Chorus of China National Opera House, the Chinese Orchestra and Chorus  of the Xi’an Conservatory of Music, and the National Chinese Orchestra  Taiwan. He is currently Director of Chinese National Orchestra Research Center of the He Luting Advanced Research Institute for Chinese Music of  the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Professor of its Conducting  Department, Honorary Fellow of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Visiting Scholar in its School of Music, Distinguished Professor  and Supervisor on the Master’s and Doctoral degree programmes at the Department of Chinese Music, the Laozi Academy of the Xi’an International University and Sehan University of South Korea, and Visiting  Professor or Adjunct Professor in many conservatories, Council Member of Chinese Musicians’ Association and National Commission of China Federation of Literary and Arts Circles, Honorary Music Director of the Shaanxi Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra. Maestro Yan was appointed Music Director of the National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan in 2013 with a tenure up to 2017 and started the ‘Youth Conductor Training Program’. His contribution to nurturing conducting talents in Chinese music in Taiwan is widely recognized.

Yan has led the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra to set many milestones in Chinese music. He and the Orchestra have been frequently invited to perform in arts and music festivals in various parts of the world, with artistic accomplishments widely endorsed. He launched the Orchestra into omni-directional growth, started the system of commissioning new works, actively entered into mutually beneficial partnerships with crossover disciplines, and spearheaded instrumental reform. His visionary achievements are reflected in such innovative initiatives as the Professional Orchestra Internship Scheme jointly implemented by the HKCO and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA); establishment of the world’s first Chinese orchestral academy, The HKCO Orchestral Academy; and organizing instrumental festivals which have achieved several Guinness World Records thanks to the keen participation of the people of Hong Kong. Yan created the Master of Music in Conducting for Chinese Orchestras programme at the HKAPA. Also, he took the lead to organize international symposia and forums on Chinese music, and hosted the first ever ‘International Conducting Competition for Chinese Music’ in the world which was commended by Zhao Jiping, Chairman of the Chinese Musicians’ Association, as “a milestone in the history of development of Chinese music”.

After graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1983 under the tutorship of renowned conductor Xia Feiyun, and famous composers Hu Dengtiao and He Zhanhao, Yan was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the China National Orchestra before he joined the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in 1997. In addition to Chinese music conducting, Yan has also conducted Western symphony orchestras such as the China National Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra and Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow etc. Yan is also actively engaged in composition, and many national awards with his works.