Judith Yan

Conductor

Judith Yan

Conductor

Canadian Citizen, US Resident, Hong Kong Resident

 

Judith Yan is a Canadian conductor, born in Hong Kong.   Equally adept at conducting opera, ballet, and symphony, her career has taken her internationally, conducting for major companies in Europe, Asia, and North America. She has held Staff Conductor positions at the San Francisco Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, and the National Ballet of Canada, and is currently the Artistic Director of Guelph Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and Principal Conductor of Opera on the Avalon.

As Artistic Director of Guelph Symphony Orchestra since 2011, she expanded the orchestra’s symphonic and operatic repertoire with works by composers Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Philip Glass, Francis Poulenc, Leonard Bernstein, added operatic repertoire by composers Puccini, Rossini, Verdi, and Strauss, and created the unique Triple-Feature “Ballet, Opera, and Symphony” Gala.

With the San Francisco Opera, she served as Staff Conductor, assistant to Maestro Donald Runnicles. While with SFO, her performances of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress for San Francisco Opera (Merola) was included in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top Ten Classical Performances of the Year. Prior to San Francisco Opera, she served as the first Conductor-in-Residence of the Canadian Opera Company, where her performance of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia garnered critical acclaim. She made her German conducting debut at Ulmer Oper with Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Mozart’s Idomeneo, and her Italian debut in 2007 in Sulmona, Italy with Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She returned the following season to conduct Puccini’s La Boheme. As the Principal Conductor of OOTA, she has lead numerous productions including La Boheme, Tosca, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, La Traviata, Albert Herring, Dead Man Walking,

As a conductor of ballet, she has conducted over 90 performances at the Four Season’s Centre for the National Ballet of Canada, working with the world’s foremost choreographers including John Neumeier, Ronald Hynd, and James Kuldelka.  With NBoC and as a guest internationally, she has conducted the ballets of Balanchine, Cranko, Kiliàn, Lander, Stowell, Wright, and Grigorovich. Since 2010, she has had a close association with Hong Kong Ballet, conducting the company’s production of Swan Lake as well as premiering all four of the company’s most recent productions of Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, and Don Quixote. In 2014, she made her Seoul conducting debut with Korean National Ballet’s La Bayadère, returning in 2015 to conduct Giselle and Swan Lake. 

Recent performances include 2 world-premieres: Jack Perla’s An American Dream for Seattle Opera and John Estacio’s Ours for Opera on the Avalon, debuts with National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa for Sleeping Beauty, Teatr Wielki in Warsaw for The Taming of the Shrew, and West Australian Ballet for Don Quixote, Verdi’s Requiem with GSO, and a return to Korean National Ballet for La Bayadère.  

She looks forward to a 2017/18 season that includes An American Dream for Seattle Opera, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel for GSO, Tosca and Dead Man Walking for Opera on the AvalonLe Corsaire for Hong Kong BalletSwan Lake for Korean National Ballet, and a return to West Australian Ballet for the premiere of Krzysztof Pastor’s Dracula.

Judith is fluent in both English and Cantonese. 

She was a student of the late Maestro Pierre Hétu.

November 2017

 

 

OPERA REPERTOIRE

 

Berlioz

LA DAMNATION DE FAUST

Britten

ALBERT HERRING

 

THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA

Cavalli

XERXES

Debussy

PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE

Estacio

OURS *(WORLD PREMIERE)                              

Handel

GUILIO CESARE

Heggie

DEAD MAN WALKING

Humperdink

HÄNSEL UND GRETEL

Louie

SCARLETT PRINCESS *(WORKSHOP)

Mozart

DON GIOVANNI

 

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

 

LA FINTA GIARDINIERA

 

IDOMENEO

Puccini

TOSCA

 

LA BOHÈME

 

GIANNI SCHICCHI

 

SUOR ANGELICA

 

MADAMA BUTTERFLY

Rossini

IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA

 

LA CENERENTOLA

Rogers & Hammerstein

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

 

CAROUSEL

Saint-Saëns

SAMSON ET DALILA                                   

Smetana

DIE VERKAUFTE BRAUT

Stravinsky

THE RAKE’S PROGRESS

Spartlan, Lewis

EARTHWISE *(WORLD PREMIERE)

Verdi

LA TRAVIATA

 

FALSTAFF

 

OTELLO

 

RIGOLETTO

 

IL TROVATORE

   

BALLET REPERTOIRE

 

Adam

GISELLE

 

LE CORSAIRE

Bizet

SYMPHONY IN C

Bliss

SYMPHONY IN COLOUR

Czerny

ÉTUDES

Feeney

DRACULA

Glass

GLASS PIECES

Hindemith

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS

Lehár

THE MERRY WIDOW

Martinů

SOLDIER’S MASS

Minkus

DON QUIXOTE

 

LA BAYAÈRE

Perkofiev

ROMEO AND JULIET

 

CINDERELLA

Scarlatti (Arr. Stolze)

TAMING OF THE SHEW

Schedrin

THE SEAGULL

Torke, Michael

AN ITALIAN STRAW HAT

Tchaikovsky

THE NUTCRACKER

 

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

 

SWAN LAKE

 

SERENADE

Vivaldi

SQUARE DANCE

   

ORCHESTRA

 

Berlioz

SYMPHONY FANTASTIQUE

Bernstein

WEST SIDE STORY SUITE

Brahms

SYMPHONY No. 1

 

SYMPHONY No. 4

Beethoven

EROICA

 

SYMPHONY No. 5

Copland

APPALACIAN SPRING

Dvořák

SYMPHONY No. 9

Elgar

ENIGMA VARIATIONS

 

SYMPHONY No. 9

Holst

THE PLANETS

Mozart

REQUIEM

Strauss

VIER LETZTE LIEDER

 

DIE FLEDERMAUS

Stravinsky

THE RITE OF SPRING

 

THE FIREBIRD

Tchaikovsky

SYMPHONY No. 5

Verdi

REQUIEM

   

Complete repertoire list available on request

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auckland Philharmonic (NZ)

Canadian Opera Company (Canada)

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada)

Guelph Symphony Orchestra (Canada)

Hong Kong Ballet (Hong Kong)

Hong Kong Philharmonic (Hong Kong)

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (USA)

Korean National Ballet / Korean Symphony (Seoul, Korea)

Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (Canada)

National Ballet of Canada (Canada)

Opera on the Avalon (Canada)

Pacific North West Ballet (USA)

San Francisco Opera – Opera Center and Merola Opera Program (USA)

Seattle Opera (USA)

Stratford Symphony Orchestra (Canada)

Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa – Polish National Ballet (Poland)

Ulmer Oper (Germany)

West Australian Ballet (Australia)

Windsor Symphony (Canada)

 

 

 

Judith Yan’s conducting of the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong brought out the best in the music and was admirably sympathetic to the dancers.”[Le Corsaire, The Hong Kong Ballet] South China Morning Post, Natasha Rogai 

“West Australian Symphony Orchestra, under Canadian conductor Judith Yan, gave a sparkling accompaniment to this engaging rendition of Don Quixote.”
[Don Quidoxote, West Australian Ballet] The West Australian – Nina Levy

“Minkus’s score may not be a masterpiece but it’s cheerful earworm material and West Australian Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Canadian guest conductor Judith Yan gave a rollicking account of it.” [Don Quidoxote, West Australian Ballet] Follow Spot – Deborah Jones

“On opening night, Canadian conductor Judith Yan expertly led the West Australian Symphony Orchestra through the Minkus score with WASO (West Australian Symphony Orchestra) in fine form.” [Don Quidoxote, West Australian Ballet] Dance Australia Magazine, Margaret Mercer

An American Dream triumphantly returns to Seattle – “The challenge of such an emotionally complex piece is making clear distinctions between all of the characters while also finding something within each person to which we can relate. This cast has far surpassed that challenge. Ryan Bede and D’Ana Lombard as Jim and Eva Crowley respectively, burst forth with the bright buoyancy of the American Dream fulfilled. Their voices are all sweetness and joy. Conversely, Ao Li as Papa/Makoto Kobayashi and Nina Yoshida Nelsen, reprising her role as Mama/Hiroko Kobayashi, bring both the warmth of parents and a deep sadness to their roles. Li, in particular, conveys both strength and desperation with his rich bass-baritone voice. Yeonji Lee rounds out this magnificent cast as the young girl at the heart of this story, Setsuko Kobayashi. In the opening of the opera, she is not able to inhabit fully the innocence and youth of Setsuko. As the child is forced to grow and mature, however, Lee is able to find incredible nuance and complexity within the character. All of these amazing performances are enriched by the supremely talented orchestra under the baton of Judith Yan.”
[American Dream – Seattle Opera] Molly Cassidy – Drama In The Hood.net

An American Dream tells powerful story in historic setting – “An American Dream” is an opera that would provide its own remarkable impact regardless of any introductions. Peter Kazaras’ staging, cleverly adapted to a smaller and less traditional space, puts the characters exactly where they need to be with an excellent economy of gesture; Judith Yan, who returns as conductor, cues every singer and all her instrumentalists with alacrity, and realizes all the colors of Perla’s shape-shifting score.” [An American Dream – Seattle Opera] Melinda Bargreen – Seattle Times

A Triumph for Seattle Opera – “Judith Yan conducts a chamber orchestra in an admirably well-paced performance supporting but never overwhelming the singers” 
[American Dream – Seattle Opera] Philippa Kiraly – ArtsOnline.com

“Credit goes to conductor Judith Yan, who made the astringent score sound as lyrical as Puccini (not a bad thing, no matter what critics more austere than I want you to believe), and supported her singers like few main-stage conductors ever do. “
[The Rake’s Progress – Merola Opera] Stephanie von Buchau – The Bay Area Reporter

Classical Music – A Year in Review: The Rake’s Progress – “Stravinsky’s angular masterpiece got an exquisitely sympathetic performance by a gifted young cast and the amazing conductor Judith Yan. “ [The Rake’s Progress – Merola Opera] Joshua Kosman – San Fransico Gazette 

Tricky Stravinsky piece beautifully rendered by assured Merola singers and fluent conducting – “Though credit is due to every participant, the evening’s principal hero was conductor Judith Yan, who led this daunting score with astonishing precision and fluency.

Stravinsky’s writing in this culmination of his Neoclassical style mimics the melodic phrases and tonal harmonies of opera composers from the 18th and 19th centuries. But the rhythmic language is full of dislocations and sudden U- turns, and too many performances — even by first-tier conductors — end up lurching drunkenly from one downbeat to the next.
Yan’s performance, by contrast, moved as fluidly and securely as any I’ve ever heard. She never downplayed or regularized the score’s sharp edges, but she made them sound natural and even commonsensical, like poetry recited in the speaker’s own language.”
[The Rake’s Progress – Merola Opera] Joshua Kosman – San Fransico Gazette

 

 

 

 www.judithyan.com