Lan Shui (BBM)
Music Director (1997 - January 2019)
Conductor Laureate (From February 2019)
Lan Shui has “turned a good regional orchestra into a world-class ensemble that plays its heart out at every concert”
Lan Shui is renowned for his abilities as an orchestral builder and for his passion in commissioning, premiering and recording new works by leading Asian composers. As Music Director of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to Jan 2019, American Record Guide noted that Shui has “turned a good regional orchestra into a world-class ensemble that plays its heart out at every concert”. Together they have made several acclaimed tours to Europe, Asia and the United States and appeared for the first time at the BBC Proms in September 2014. Lan Shui is currently the SSO's Conductor Laureate.
Lan Shui held the position of Chief Conductor of the Copenhagen Phil from 2007 to 2015, and from 2016 he became their Conductor Laureate. He recently concluded a four-year period as Artistic Advisor of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Shui has worked with many orchestras. In the United States he has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Baltimore and Detroit symphony orchestras. In Europe he has performed with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Gothenburg Symphony, Tampere Philharmonic and Orchestre National de Lille. In Asia he has conducted the Hong Kong, Malaysian and Japan Philharmonic orchestras and maintains a close relationship with the China Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony.
Since 1998 Shui has recorded over 20 CDs for BIS – including a Rachmaninoff series, a "Seascapes" disc and the first-ever complete cycle of Tcherepnin’s symphonies with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra – and also music by Arnold and Hindemith with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, which has received two Grammy nominations.
Lan Shui is the recipient of several international awards from the Beijing Arts Festival and the New York Tcherepnin Society, the 37th Besançon Conductors’ Competition in France and Boston University (Distinguished Alumni Award) as well as the Cultural Medallion – Singapore’s highest accolade in the arts. In 2019, he was awarded the Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Star, or BBM) by the Singapore government.
Born in Hangzhou, China, Shui studied composition at the Shanghai Conservatory and graduated from The Beijing Central Conservatory. He continued his graduate studies at Boston University while at the same time working closely with Leonard Bernstein at the Tanglewood Music Festival. He has worked together with David Zinman as Conducting Affiliate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as Associate Conductor to Neeme Järvi at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and with Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic and Pierre Boulez at The Cleveland Orchestra.