Bravissimo! February 2019

Lan Shui Named Conductor Laureate, SSO Appoints New Artistic Lead

In January, after 22 years, Maestro Lan Shui stepped down as SSO’s Music Director, and was named Conductor Laureate of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has also appointed a new Director of Artistic Planning, Hans Sørensen.

For his swansong, Lan Shui led a performance of Mahler Symphony No. 2 on two evenings at the Esplanade. A full house turned up to bid him farewell, including Grace Fu, the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

To our wonderful audience: concert after concert, you have moved me with your enthusiasm and applause. You who have followed me on this musical journey: thank you for being ever so open to exploring music with us. It has been a great privilege to serve the SSO and Singapore. I wish all of you the very best and thank you for your continued support of the SSO.

Lan Shui

In a TV interview, Shui explained his choice of Mahler for his farewell concerts:

Mahler writes about death as a wonderful life passage. This Second Symphony describes the end of a phase; death is one phase, and beyond that is yet another – the ‘resurrection’, so to speak. The symphony is performed by many great orchestras and often on significant occasions. It is close to my heart, because it is truly the end of an era – for me as well as the orchestra. It also beckons at what’s next – which I’m convinced will be a fantastic future for the SSO.

Warm messages to the Maestro have also been shared by international artists:


Joining in January and covering part of Shui’s former artistic planning role, Hans Sørensen is the SSO’s Director of Artistic Planning.

In this newly created position, Sørensen will look into planning of SSO’s core programme, and its community and education outreach events. He will also coordinate artistic plans for the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Choruses, as well as curate the chamber music series at the Victoria Concert Hall, VCHPresents.

I’m excited to be working with the performing groups within the SSG. Not only is the SSO a top orchestra in the region, the audience in Singapore is also one of the youngest in the world for classical music. There is a rising demand for established international artistes, as well as a growing sophistication to appreciate upcoming artistes from the region and outside of it. I’m also very encouraged by the passion of the musicians and the administrative team, and look forward to showcasing the talent of our musicians and choirs.

Sørensen was most recently Artistic Planner and Orchestra Manager for the Göteborgs Symfoniker (the National Orchestra of Sweden).

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