Singapore Symphony Orchestra names new chief conductor

Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has announced Austrian maestro Hans Graf as its chief conductor, he will assume the role from 2020-21 season

The 70-year-old, who conducted for SSO in 2015 and 2018, said: “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.”

Graf is set to replace Lan Shui after he led the orchestra for 22 years. Chinese-American music director Shui, who announced in January that he would step down, now holds the title of conductor laureate.

Graf will plan and conduct six concert weeks in the 2020-21 season, going on to conduct eight concert weeks in subsequent seasons. He will work alongside director of artistic planning Hans Sørenson on SSO’s artistic vision.

Goh Yew Lin, board chairman of the Singapore Symphony Group (SSG), commented: “I am delighted to welcome Hans Graf as our chief conductor. He brings with him a wealth of experience and insightful musicianship, in repertoire ranging from the core classical repertoire to the peaks of the 20th century repertoire. His rapport with SSO musicians was exceptional from their first concert together.”

Graf has led orchestras including LA Phil, New York Philharmonic (NY Phil), Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and London Philharmonic Orchestra. He was music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra from 2001-13 where he now holds the title of conductor laureate.