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Minnesota's Rochester Symphony Announces New Chief Conductor

Taiwanese-American conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin will succeed Jere Lantz, who held the role for over 40 years


In October 2023, Chia-Hsuan Lin was one of four conductor candidates pursuing Rochester Symphony Orchestra’s music director position. She will now succeed Jere Lantz, who stepped down in 2022 after 42 years in the role and was appointed as the symphony’s music director emeritus in 2023.

Serving as associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony since 2016, Lin was the first of the four final candidates to guest conduct the Rochester Symphony this season.

“She inspired each section and every player to perform to their full potential,” orchestra member and music director search committee chairman, Joseph Mish told the Post Bulletin. “She made an immediate connection with her ease and confidence on the podium and in front of the audience.”

Previously, Lin served as music director of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, the University of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, interim music director of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra of Cleveland, and assistant conductor of Opera at the CCM Spoleto Music Festival in Italy. 

Her recent engagements have included performing with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Williamsburg Symphony, and Fort Wayne Philharmonic, where she was also an assistant conductor. 

Additionally, she has worked with the National Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Richmond Ballet, Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, Academy of Taiwan Strings, and Taipei Philharmonic Chorus, and with conductors such as Osmo Vänskä, Jahja Ling, Marin Alsop, Gianandrea Noseda, and Stéphane Denève, among others. 

Often working with new music and the next generation of artists, her collaborators have included Inna Faliks, Eduardo Rojas, and VC Artists Paul Huang, Sterling Elliot, Amaryn Olmeda, and Kevin Zhu; Lin has also led works by composers Chris Thile, PaviElle French, Stephen Prutsman, Zachary Wadsworth, Laura Schwendinger, Steve Heitzeg, and Jennifer Jolley.

Beginning piano lessons in Taiwan at the age of three, Lin majored in percussion at the National Taiwan Normal University while playing with the Taipei Percussion Group. Following a tragic incident when she was struck by a car, she later decided to pursue conducting with Apo Hsu and Mark Gibson. She received a doctorate in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University with Victor Yampolsky.

Rochester Symphony’s 2024/25 season will be announced later this summer. In the meantime, the orchestra will host formal introductions of Lin to its supporters, patrons, and community.

“Maestro Lin is an artistic leader who understands how Rochester Symphony can touch people’s lives through community engagement,” said Rochester Symphony’s president and CEO Amy Lindstrom in the Post Bulletin. “She will be a wonderful asset to the cultural and artistic fabric of our region, and we can’t wait for Rochester to get to know her.”

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