Kahchun Wong’s musical alchemy: Beethoven and Mahler in perfect harmony

Zach Carstensen profiles conductor Kahchun Wong

Kahchun Wong © Ayane Sato

Anticipation crackles in the air, thick like summer lightning before the storm breaks. A hush descends, settling over an expectant audience. Every cough or rustling program feels like a desecration. At the podium, conductor Kahchun Wong stands at the edge of creation – shoulders squared, back straight, baton held aloft.  A moment’s pause, pregnant with possibility, his hand dips, slow and deliberate, tracing the first stroke of a masterpiece: Beethoven’s Symphony No.9.

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Revelatory performance of Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony from Osmo Vänskä and the Seattle Symphony

United StatesUnited States Mahler: Jennifer Johnson Cano (mezzo-soprano), Mané Galoyan (soprano), Seattle Symphony Chorale and Orchestra / Osmo Vänskä (conductor). Benaroya Hall, Seattle, 22.6.2023. (ZC)

Osmo Vänskä conducts Jennifer Johnson Cano (mezzo-soprano) and the Seattle Symphony © Carlin Ma

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