Jimmy Chiang was appointed as Kapellmeister of the Vienna Boys’ Choir in 2013, becoming the first Hong Kong born Chinese conductor to ever hold this title in the world famous choir’s 500 years of history. He was also the first prize winner of the renowned „Lovro von Matacic“ international conducting competition in Zagreb in 2007.
Chiang began his musical career in his home town with his first public appearance as a concert pianist at the age of 13 with the Hong Kong Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra, in which he was also a cellist from 1994 to 1996 and has been its principal conductor since 2008. Chiang’s performing career whether as soloist, collaborative pianist or conductor has brought him to prestigious stages and festivals all around the world, such as the Wiener Musikverein, Carnegie Hall, Komischen Oper Berlin, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, FACYL in Spain and the Macau International Music Festival, among others. Orchestras he has worked with include the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfonica Castilla e Leon, Hong Kong Philharmonic, etc. He is well known for being a well-rounded musician who masters an enormous, versatile repertoire, ranging from Gregorian to living contemporaries. The international opera magazine “Orpheus” described Chiang well in a cover article in 2009 under the title “Versatility comes through Hard Work, Discipline and Respect!”
Chiang worked as assistant music director of the Wagner “Ring” cycle at Theater Lübeck, as well as opera productions at the Eutin Festival during the summer seasons from 2007 to 2009. From 2009 to 2011 he was first Kapellmeister at Theater Freiburg, where he directed numerous premiere productions such as a howling success of Ligeti’s opera Le Grand Macabre with celebrated stage director Calixto Bieito. In 2016, he became the first artistic director of a newly-founded Hong Kong – Vienna Music Festival and led the festival to its climax by bringing together top musicians from both metropoles in a stunning performance of Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony.
Born into a musical family, Chiang began piano lessons when he was four. He also studied violoncello and composition as a teenager. He received the Fellows Diploma of the Trinity College of Music London at the age of 16. He graduated with the Bachelor of Music Degree at Baylor University (USA), where he studied with the renowned pianist Krassimira Jordan of the Russian piano school and the legendary Polish-born Jewish conductor Daniel Sternberg. He continued his education and obtained the “Magister Artium” Degree with distinction at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, where he was a student of the Austrian conductor Leopold Hager and German pianist Wolfgang Watzinger. In 2003 he studied with Seiji Ozawa and appeared at the Rohm Music Festival in Kyoto, Japan upon the maestro’s invitation. Other significant mentors included Dr. Yip Wai-hong in Hong Kong and Erwin Ortner, founder and director of the renowned Arnold Schönberg Chor of Vienna.