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Taking her place

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-22 08:27

Zhang Xian works with celebrated orchestras around the world and has regularly performed in China since 2008.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Zhang Xian stands as one of the world's few prominent female conductors. Chen Nan reports.

Zhang Xian's professional debut was unplanned. The junior at the Beijing-based Central Conservatory of Music stood in for her teacher, conductor Wu Lingfen, who'd fallen ill, to conduct The Marriage of Figaro at the Central Opera House in 1995.

"Some people complained upon learning Wu wouldn't be at the rehearsal," the 44-year-old recalls.

"Others giggled when I took to the podium. They wondered what a 22-year-old woman was capable of. But ... everything went smoothly."

Zhang has continued to make history in this male-dominated field.

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