Next Chapter: SSO Announces New Chief Conductor
The SSO made the news recently with the announcement of its Chief Conductor designate. Assuming the role from the 2020/21 concert season, beginning mid-2020, is celebrated Austrian maestro Hans Graf.
The announcement was made in early July, after Music Director Lan Shui stepped down in January completing an illustrious 22-year career with the orchestra.
In Graf, SSO has appointed an internationally established maestro with highly regarded expertise in core orchestral repertoire. Graf has served as Music Director at distinguished orchestras like the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, the Basque National Orchestra, and the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine. He was most recently Music Director at the Houston Symphony.
No stranger to Singapore, the 70-year-old Grammy-awarded maestro conducted SSO concerts in 2015 and 2018, where reviewers extolled Graf’s conducting as “an inspired partnership”, leading the SSO to “play with such delicacy and sensitivity.”
When I first came to Singapore, I found an orchestra of international level. Now I am pleased and honoured to be invited to work with them in the future: I feel in them the joy of making music which fuels their assiduous effort to reach ever higher levels, and it will be my goal to lead and go forward with them in this noble passion.
A stream of warm congratulations have been received by the orchestra’s management, from the local arts community as well as orchestras outside Singapore, with one website calling this a “maestro move” on the part of the SSO.
Hans Graf brings to Singapore an immense and diverse wealth of musical experience and awareness, as the SSO builds momentum to becoming one of the world's most distinctive orchestras. YST Conservatory looks forward to working with Mr Graf and the orchestra at this exciting and dynamic time for music and music education in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
This announcement comes at the 40th anniversary of the SSO, marked by a six-month celebration of the milestone that included an anniversary gala concert, an anniversary fundraising dinner, and a special series of community concerts for the Singapore public.
Elaine Yeo, an SSO musician since 1992, said, “Maestro Graf is a highly respected artist with a great sense of musicianship and experience. We really enjoyed playing under him when he was here last year, and we are looking forward to forging a new relationship with one of the great maestros of our time. I’m sure he will bring the orchestra to even higher levels of performance and music-making.”