When a talented pianist and a brilliant conductor take centerstage it will be a musical epiphany of sorts. Next year, Alice Sara Ott and Elim Chan will be in concert at London’s Barbican Hall.
Alice Sara Ott is a German classical pianist born in 1988 to a German father and a Japanese mother. Ott’s mother had studied piano in Tokyo, which inculcated the beginnings of her musical training. In an interview, Ott said that she realized as a child that “music was the language that goes much beyond any words” and she had this ardent desire to communicate and express herself through music. She started piano lessons when she was four, and reached the final stage of the youth competition in Munich at the tender age of five, playing to a full house in the Hercules Hall. A star was sure in the making! The prodigy went on to win the Jugend musiziert competition in Germany at just seven years of age.
In 2002, Ott was the youngest ever finalist to be at the prestigious Hamamatsu International Piano Academy Competition in Japan where she grabbed the Most Promising Artist award. At the age of 12, Ott was enrolled at the Salzburg Mozarteum where she studied under Karl-Heinz Kammerling. She continued her school education simultaneously in Munich. Ott has won numerous awards at different piano competitions, including first prize at the Pianello Val Tidone Competition of 2004. Ott has done recordings of Franz Liszt’s “Transcendental Etudes” and Frederic Chopin's waltzes for Deutsche Grammophon, apart from performing in concert tours across Europe, the United States and Japan.
Born in Hong Kong, the talented Elim Chan became the first female winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in December 2014. Subsequently, she held the position of assistant conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2015/16 and was appointed to the prestigious Dudamel Fellowship program with the LA Philharmonic in 2016/17. This current season, Chan holds the position as principal conductor of the Orchestra of Norrlands Operan and for 2018/19, she has been named as the principal guest conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
As a youth, Elim Chan played cello and piano, and sang in choirs. She attended the Good Hope School and was later a sixth-form student at Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong. Elim Chan began her academic studies at Smith College in the US wanting to become a doctor, but soon swerved her path of study and in 2009 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music. She continued her studies at the University of Michigan and held the position of music director of the University’s Michigan Campus Symphony Orchestra and also the Michigan Pops Orchestra. Chan earned her master’s degree in orchestra conducting in 2011, and her doctorate in 2015.
Some of her recent noteworthy work includes her North American debuts with the Berkeley, Detroit and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra, Philharmonique de Luxembourg, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, the Orchestre, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In 2017, Chan also conducted a children’s concert with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and a Christmas concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. She debuted with the Orchestre National de Lyon in January 2018.
The concert is on June 9, 2019, at the Barbican Hall, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS, UK
For details, visit https://www.barbican.org.uk
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the performers.
Founder: Louise Blouin