Han-Na Chang


Han-Na Chang


Han-Na Chang’s prestigious and unique international career spans three decades. 2024 will mark the 30th Anniversary of her extraordinary debut on the international stages, when as an 11-year old, she won the First Prize at the Fifth International Rostropovich Cello Competition in Paris in 1994.

Han-Na Chang is the Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera in Norway since 2017, and Erste Gastdirigentin (Principal Guest Conductor) of the Symphoniker Hamburg – Laeiszhalle Orchester since 2022. In addition, the 2023-24 season will see her guest conduct the Vienna, Sydney, Melbourne, Bern, RAI Torino, New Zealand and Singapore Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Bruckner Orchester Linz at the closing concert of the International Brucknerfest Linz 2023.

As a guest conductor, Han-Na Chang’s has worked with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Bamberger Symphoniker, the Toronto, Hamburg, Vienna, Singapore, Tokyo, Cincinnati, St Louis, Indianapolis, Seattle, Vancouver, Detroit, Milwaukee, Gothenburg, Malmo, Odense and Iceland symphony orchestras, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra (UK), the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottis National Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli.

Han-Na Chang started her critically acclaimed tenure as the Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera in Norway in 2017. Prior to this appointment, she served as the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor during 2013 -17. She made her critically acclaimed debut as a conductor at the 2014 BBC Proms in London. In 2009, she founded and launched the Absolute Classic Festival at Sungnam Arts Center in South Korea and served as its Artistic Director until 2014. The annual summer festival served two purposes: intense orchestral training giving its musicians a broad and deep exposure to all the major symphonic repertoire, and in turn introducing such masterpieces in exciting performances to the local audiences. Han-Na Chang has also recorded introductions and complete performances of the Beethoven Symphonies for the MBC TV in South Korea over 2007-2008.

She first gained international recognition for her precocious musical gifts at the age of 11, when she won the First Prize and the Contemporary Music Prize at the Fifth Rostropovich International Cello Competition in Paris in 1994, awarded unanimously by the jury led by Mstislav Rostropovich. Following this victory at an unprecedented age, her international career took her to all the major concert halls and the top orchestras around the world as an in-demand recitalist and soloist. As a cellist, she has performed with orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philadelphia Orchestra, l'Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago, Boston and San Francisco Symphony orchestras. Her cello recordings, exclusively for the Warner Music label have been nominated for the Grammys, awarded two ECHO Klassik awards, the Caecilia and Cannes Classical awards, as well as a Gramophone Concerto of the Year accolade among others, and remain world-wide bestsellers.

Han-Na Chang was born in Suwon, South Korea in December 1982. At the age of 6, she received her first cello lesson. Her family moved to New York in 1993 in order to support her continuing musical studies at the Juilliard School, and she has lived in New York since. She counts Mstislav Rostropovich, Mischa Maisky and Giuseppe Sinopoli as the most influential mentors of her formative years. Han-Na Chang read Philosophy at Harvard University. After developing an intense interest in and deep passion for the symphonic repertoire during her late teens and early twenties, she made her formal conducting debut in 2007, at the age of 24, and has since then focused her artistic output exclusively to conducting.