Korea's young cellist and conductor Chang Han-na said Monday she has been designated as the music director of Qatar's national symphony orchestra.
"I have been appointed to the job of music director of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in a vote by its members for whom I worked as a guest conductor in June," Chang said in a telephone interview with Yonhap News Agency. "I'm really happy but feel a grave responsibility at the same time."
Chang, 29, says she will be formally named to the post in September next year and will stay in Qatar for about 100 days a year afterward until the two-year term ends in 2015.
It would be the first time that Chang has led a state symphony orchestra if she officially assumes the job.
Born to Korean parents in Suwon, just outside of Seoul, Chang began studying piano at age three and cello three years later, getting her name known as a child prodigy extraordinaire. Chang is now considered one of the most sought-after cellists in the world and one of the most important musicians of her generation.
After winning both the First Prize and Contemporary Music Prize at the Fifth Rostropovich International Cello Competition in 1994, Chang made her debut recording with Rostropovich as maestro and the London Symphony Orchestra.
In 2007, Chang made her conducting debut in Korea as part of her goal to introduce classical masterpieces to a wider audience, especially to children and teens.
"This will be a big adventure for both the Qatar orchestra and me," Chang said. "Still, it is not an adventure with a 50 percent chance of success, I'm convinced that the chance is 100 percent." (Yonhap)