Our Music Director
Award-winning Canadian Conductor, Kenneth Hsieh has emerged as one of the top rising young conductors to watch. The 2018-2019 season marks his 16th year as Music Director of the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra in addition to his many international guest conducting engagements. He has maintained a close relation with the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra where he has conducted their subscription, masterworks, and educational series. Highlights in this upcoming season includes: Ken taking the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra on tour, debut and appearances at the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Music Festival, the Nutcracker ballet production with the Goh Ballet and Victoria Symphony Orchestra, as well as return engagement to conduct the Japan Century Orchestra in Beethoven Symphony 9 at The Symphony Hall in Osaka, produced by Asahi Broadcasting Corporation and sponsored by Air Canada.
Born in Edmonton, Canada, Ken is the winner of several prizes including the Heinz Unger Award in Conducting and the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in Orchestral Conducting. At the age of 22, Ken was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Pacific Music Festival (founded by Leonard Bernstein) where he worked with the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra as well as serving as an assistant and collaborator to Bernard Haitink, Edo De Waart, Krzysztof Penderecki, Seikyo Kim, Yutaka Sado and Ken Takaseki. The following year, Ken became the youngest ever Conductor-in-residence/Assistant Conductor with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the National Academy Orchestra where from 2004-2007; he conducted over 100 performances from the Main Subscription series to lighter and pops series concerts with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
He has collaborated with a wide range of distinguished artists such as Cyprien Katsaris, Mayuko Kamio, Tamaki Kawakubo, Janina Fialkowska, Ryu Goto, Anastasia Chebetorova, Holly Cole, Natalie McMaster, Ikuyo Nakamichi, Kosuke Atari, Three Celtic Tenors, and John Pizzarelli. Several of his concerts have been recorded live and broadcasted on CBC Radio across Canada. His concerts have also been broadcasted on television in Taiwan, Japan, Canada, and the USA. Ken made his France debut with the historical l’orchestre Lamoureux, performing at their subscription concert at the Theatre Champs-Elysee in Paris, France.
Remaining dedicated to promoting young artists and education; Ken works often with Youth orchestras including the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, Surrey Youth Orchestra, BCMEA Honor Orchestra, as well as the Japan Junior Philharmonic Orchestra as their summer session conductor in a series of concerts that included a benefit concert for the United Nations (World Food Program) in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space. He is a guest professor and conductor with the National Tainan University and has worked with the Geidai Philharmonia, preparing them for the Martha Argerich Festival in Beppu, which was later conducted by Antonio Pappano and Seikyo Kim.
Ken’s internationally renowned conducting teachers and coaches have include: Kurt Masur, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Morihiro Okabe, Yuji Yuasa, Ronald Zollman, and Jorma Panula. He is a graduate of both the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of British Columbia where he majored in piano and percussion. He completed his post-graduate studies in orchestral conducting in Japan at the Toho Gakuen School of Music and the Senzoku College of Music on full scholarship and did further studies in Vienna, Austria with Yuji Yuasa.
In addition, Ken has been a guest conductor with orchestras in Europe, Asia, and the Americas; including l’orchestre Lamroureux, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Century Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gunma Symphony Orchestra, Hyogo Performing Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, Siena Wind Orchestra, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, and has made two recordings with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa on Avex Label.