Panel discussion: Achieving excellence in technique, musicianship, and performance in the string orchestra chaired by Mark Sullivan
4th Oct 2018 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Singaporean Conductor TzeLaw Chan is Vice-Dean and Associate Professor of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, and also Music Director of Singapore’s Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and the award winning Orchestra of the Music Makers. International music reviewers have lauded Chan’s performances and CD recordings. His performances of Mahler’s 8th symphony with the Orchestra of the Music Makers, and Sing50 concerts with the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and Lang Lang were named ‘Best concerts of 2015’ by Singapore’s Sunday Times. Germany’s Der neue Merker remarked that Chan “achieved amazing clarity in even the densest contrapuntal passages, drew a wealth of dynamic nuances from the score and shaped the conflation of the symphony’s (Mahler 8) episodes into coherent structure of cumulative power….listeners felt they have concluded a great journey of time and spirit”. Fanfare Magazine states “Chan paces the climaxes so adroitly that, when they arrive, the listener is nearly swept out of the room on tidal waves of sound”. Hobart Mercury hailed his Tasmanian premiere of Mahler’s 6th Symphony as ‘triumphant’ and The West Australianlavished praise on his performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring “Certainly, Tze Law (Chan) did wonders from the podium. It was a tour de force.” American Record Guide remarked that that in Mahler’s Resurrection symphony he “led the 120-piece orchestra and chorus of 200 with full understanding of the Mahler idiom”. Singapore’s The Straits Times’ highlighted his prolific performances of contemporary and Singaporean music “the cause of new music here today could hardly be in better hands”. More recently, Chan’s premier of Elgar’s Oratorio The Music Makers in Singapore and Taiwan with the Taipei Philharmonic Chorus was named Best classical concerts of 2017 by Singapore’s Sunday Times, and Classical Voice America similarly lauded the Taiwan performance’s ‘breathtaking walls of sound and intimate moments of haunting beauty’. Chan has conducted at major music festivals in the UK and the region and has appeared with major orchestras such as the Singapore Symphony, Shanghai Philharmonic, Shenzhen Symphony, Xiamen Philharmonic, Zhejiang Symphony, Guiyang Symphony, Thailand Philharmonic, and collaborated with soloists such as Joshua Bloom, Fiona Campbell, Warwick Fyfe, Deborah Humble, Lee Hyon, Caitlin Hulcup, Lang Lang, Ng Pei-Sian, Melvyn Tan, Albert Tiu, Qin Li-Wei, Virgillio Marino, Daniel Sumegi and Igor Yuzefovich. Concerts and CD recordings conducted by Chan have been broadcast on Australia’s ABC Classic FM, UK’s BBC Radio 3 and featured on Singapore Airlines Krisworld In-flight Classical Music selection. As a pedagogue, Chan was the founding chief conductor of the Australian International Summer Orchestral Institute. He has given masterclasses in conducting at the Peabody Institute, USA, and Royal Academy of Music, London and is widely credited for his role as the founding music director of the Yong Siew Toh conservatory orchestra. He also founded the conservatory’s ground breaking new music ensemble to critical acclaim, regularly performing iconic classical contemporary works juxtaposed with Singaporean compositions since 2007 in partnership with Esplanade theatres by the Bay. He also lectures on leadership in conducting at the annual Senior Management programme of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS. A former scholar of the UK’s Royal College of Music where his teachers included conducting luminaries Christopher Adey and Norman Del Mar, Chan made his Singapore conducting debut with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in 2001 at the invitation of music director Lan Shui. Chan’s CD’s are available on Spotify and iTunes.