Judith Yan


“In her VO debut, Canadian conductor Judith Yan really shone in the pit, bringing extraordinarily lyrical and expressive playing from the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.  Yan held the musical thread firmly but synched the ebb and flow of Puccini’s score perfectly with the onstage drama unfolding before the audience’s eyes. The applause swelled noticeably when she appeared onstage to take her bows at curtain.” Robert Jordan (Vancouver Opera, La Boheme, Opera Canada, 2019)

“But, for all the onstage energy, the guiding intelligence of the performance is plain to see in the pit. The coiled, compact figure of Judith Yan, diminutive in her black frock coat, drives the her musicians with nuanced control, milking all the tuneful sweetness of Puccini’s score while elegantly lining the deft tone-painting of his orchestration.”  Lincoln Kaye  (Vancouver Opera, La Boheme, The Vancouver Observer, 2019)

“The Edmonton Symphony played splendidly under Judith Yan.  She gave the singers plenty of space to be heard, and coaxed many vivid, dramatically transparent moments from the players.  In particular, Julianne Scott’s mournful clarinet solo in Violetta’s letter scene helped capture the tragic heroine’s dilemma poignantly.” Bill Rankin (Edmonton Opera, La Traviata, Opera Canada, 2018)

The other star of this production is conductor Judith Yan, and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. She draws out the lyrical beauty of Puccini’s music, easing gradually into, say, Mimi and Rodolfo’s goodbye duet in Act 3, and never rushing its shifting emotions.” Janet Smith (Vancouver Opera, La Boheme, City Arts Magazine, 2019)

“Judith Yan, in her Seattle Opera debut, conducted the orchestra with vigor and deep sympathy for the score.” Jason Victor Serinus (Seattle Opera, An American Dream, Classical Voice America, 2017)

A triumph for Seattle Opera...Judith Yan conducts a chamber orchestra in an admirably well-paced performance supporting but never overwhelming the singers.” Philippa Kiraly (Seattle Opera, An American Dream, CityArt)

Conductor Judith Yan elicited an alert and precise rendering of the score from the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, providing the singers with an overall security and freedom to cultivate meaningful interplay with each other.”  Nicholas Krusek (Vancouver Opera, La Boheme, Vancouver Classical Music, 2019)

“Played by West Australian Symphony Orchestra at its glorious best on opening night, conductor Judith Yan brought forth every nuance, dramatic tone or highlight in the score, in the narrative and in the choreography.” Margaret Mercer (West Australian Ballet/West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Dracula, Dance Australia, 2018)

“Under the direction of Canadian conductor Judith Yan, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra is simply wonderful. As one might imagine, cellos are prominent, but special mention must be made of the piano – there was a keyboard passage that filled the auditorium with crystal clear emotion.” Greg Ross (West Australian Ballet/West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Dracula, 2018)

The music to accompany the production was from the 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Judith Yan expertly conducted the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra through the hauntingly dark score.” Jennifer Merigan (West Australian Ballet/West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Dracula, Have a Go News, 2018)

Dracula the ballet is a triumph...The tiny figure of Chinese conductor, Judith Yan, belied the sounds she brought from the orchestra pit of the beautiful Edwardian theatre, far removed from the dark Victorian days in which the story was originally set.” Barbara Booth (West Australian Ballet/West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Dracula, ArtsHub, 2018)

An American Dream Triumphantly Returns...All of these amazing performances are enriched by the supremely talented orchestra under the baton of Judith Yan." Molly Cassidy (Seattle Opera, An American Dream, Drama in the Hood)

“Judith Yan, who returns as conductor, cues every singer and all her instrumentalists with alacrity, and realizes all the colors of Perla’s shape-shifting score." Melinda Bargreen (Seattle Opera, An American Dream, Seattle Times, 2017)

"West Australian Symphony Orchestra, under Canadian conductor Judith Yan, gave a sparkling accompaniment to this engaging rendition of Don Quixote.”  Nina Levy (West Australian Ballet, Don Quixote, The West Australian)

On opening night, Canadian conductor Judith Yan expertly led the West Australian Symphony Orchestra through the Minkus score with WASO (West Australian Symphony Orchestra) in fine form.” Margaret Mercer (West Australian Ballet, Don Quixote, Dance Australia)

 "The evening's principal hero was conductor Judith Yan, who led this daunting score with astonishing precision and fluency..."  Joshua Kosman (San Francisco Opera Merola, The Rake’s Progress Stravinsky, San Francisco Chronicle)

“Judith Yan led her musicians with great power and style.” James Koelker (San Francisco Classical Voice)

"The music glistened under the baton of conductor Judith Yan…textures were lucid and the lyric line convincingly sustained." John Bender (San Francisco Opera, La Finta Giardiniera Mozart, Opera Canada)