Maestro Choo Hoey has been associated with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra since its foundation in 1979. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 1955 with the Manns Memorial and Ernest Read prizes for conducting and then went on to further studies at the Conservatoire Royale de Musique in Brussels. His debut performances with Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale initiated a successful career as visiting conductor throughout Europe and South America.
In 1968, he became principal conductor of the Greek National Opera, where his repertoire included not only the standard classics, but also works by Debussy, Bartok, Berg and Stravinsky. He was frequent guest conductor of the four major symphony orchestras of Greece with which he gave numerous world premieres of contemporary Greek works. Many of these he recorded with the Hellenic Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra.
In 1979 he was invited to become the founding Music Director and Resident Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. From modest beginnings, he gradually built up the orchestra and developed an extensive repertoire ranging from the early baroque to contemporary masterpieces. He led the orchestra on four successful European tours. Upon stepping down as Music Director in July 1996, he was appointed Conductor Emeritus.
For his contribution to music in Singapore, he was awarded the Cultural Medallion (1979), the Public Service Star (1982), and was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters of the National University of Singapore in 1989. In 1997 he was appointed a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France.
His career has taken him to most of the great music capitals of Europe, America, Latin America and the former USSR, as well as the People's Republic of China. He has been guest conductor with over sixty orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, The London Philharmonic, the Orchestre de la Societe du Conservatoire de Paris, the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Danish State Radio Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Nacionale de Buenos Aires (Argentina), the Orquesta de Instituto Extension Musical in Santiago (Chile), the Central Philharmonic in Beijing, the Tokyo City Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Maestro Choo Hoey now resides in Europe.