‘Magic Wand’: Brunswick Review interviews Xian Zhang
BRUNSWICK REVIEW At 11, she left home in Dandong, China to study music at an elite boarding school associated with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In 1992, at the age of 19, she found herself in the limelight when, at the last minute, her teacher asked her to lead a production of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” at the China National Opera. Ms. Zhang calls the moment “my surprising debut” – as much a surprise to herself, it seems, as to the orchestra and audience. But success followed her over the next decade and, in 2005, New York Philharmonic Director Lorin Maazel appointed her Associate Conductor of the world-leading ensemble. If her destiny seemed prescribed before, at that point it became inescapable.