Photo Credit: David Howells

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  (GSO) and Music Director and Principal Conductor of Opera on the Avalon.

As Artistic Director of GSO 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, Humperdinck, and created the unique Triple-Feature “Ballet, Opera, and Symphony” Gala.  Prior to GSO, she served as Staff Conductor of San Francisco Opera (SFO), 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. For the Canadian Opera Company, she served as its first Conductor-in-Residence, where her performance of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia garnered critical acclaim.  For the National Ballet of Canada (NBoC), she has conducted over 90 performances at the Four Season’s Centre, working with the world’s foremost choreographers.  With NBoC and as a guest internationally, she has conducted the ballets of Balanchine, Cranko, Kiliàn, Lander, Stowell, Wright, and Grigorovich.

An active guest conductor both in Canada and internationally, her 2017/18 season includes productions of An American Dream for Seattle OperaTosca for Opera on the Avalon, Le Corsaire for Hong Kong BalletGiselle for Korean National Ballet, and a return to West Australian Ballet for the world-premiere of Krzysztof Pastor’s Dracula.  

Upcoming in 2018/19 includes debuts with Edmonton Opera with La Traviata and Vancouver Opera with La Boheme, Estacio’s Ours at the National Arts Centre and Opera on the Avalon, Swan Lake with Korean National Ballet, and La Bayadère with West Australian Ballet.

Here is a lovely review in the Toronto Star, of Judith’s debut with the Elora Festival Singers at their Season Opening Gala this summer.