A Conducting Masterclass with Apo Hsu & Yeh Tsung

 

BHSO proudly presents the 5th edition of an inspiring series of orchestral conducting masterclasses led by renowned maestros, which have provided invaluable professional training, practical experience and mentorship to talented aspiring conductors in Singapore. Over the years, the master classes have attracted working conductors and teachers working with all kinds of different ensembles including symphony orchestras, symphonic bands, choirs, and Chinese orchestras. Past participants have gone on to win prizes at international conducting competitions and career opportunities with orchestras around the world.

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 masterclass will be jointly led by renowned Taiwanese conductor and pedagogue Maestra Apo Hsu and the BHSO’s newly named Artistic Advisor, SCO Music Director and Cultural Medallion recipient Maestro Yeh Tsung.

For the first time this year, participants will be tutored by TWO master teachers sharing their expertise, insights and vast professional experience – surely one of the most incredible learning opportunities for any conductor!


Schedule of Events

Session  Date / Time / Venue  Details
1

19 June (Tue)
7pm – 10pm,
BHCC Theatrette

Preview session

Teachers assess ability of each student and provides coaching on conducting technique, rehearsal preparation & score study.

2

21 June (Thu)
7pm – 10pm,
BHCC Theatrette

Conducting Chamber Ensemble

Students conduct & rehearse chamber ensemble (string quintet & piano) under teachers’ guidance.

3

23 June (Sat)
10am – 12pm,
BHCC Theatrette

Review session

Teachers conduct interviews with each student to review their performance & learning progress.

4

23 June (Sat),
2 – 5pm
BHCC Exhibition Hall
Level 5 (#05-02)

Conducting Symphony Orchestra

Students conduct and rehearse BHSO under the teachers guidance (approx. 20 mins each).

* Students will be permitted to record their performance at every session with personal video/audio recording equipment.


Prescribed Works

  • Edward Elgar – Engima Variations
  • P.I. Tchaikovsky – Violin Concerto (1st Movement)

Students should provide their own conducting batons (if using) and the full score of both prescribed works. Students are required to be adequately prepared at every stage of the program as they may be asked to conduct the entirety or specific excerpt.


Who should apply?

The masterclass is open to anyone with some prior experience in conducting instrumental ensembles of any kind (choirs, Chinese orchestras, string orchestras, symphonic bands, etc.) and will caters to students at every level of ability (novices to working professionals)


Registration

Interested applicants may register by submitting:

An updated curriculum vitae (CV) which must include:

– Full name, date of birth, nationality & relevant biographical information
– Contact Details (e-mail, mobile number)
– Description of musical and/or conducting training & experience

Video recording (approx. 5 minutes) with good quality sound that clearly shows the applicant conducting a rehearsal or performance with any musical ensemble filmed from the musicians’ point of view.

Applications are to be submitted via email to info@bhso.org. Video files may either be included as a file attachment (size permitting) or using a working hyperlink to any reliable online file sharing or video streaming service. All applications must be received by 4th June 2018 (Monday).

To ensure optimal quality of instruction and podium time, there will be a limit to the number of places available. After the review process, successful applicants will be informed via email by 11th June 2018 (Monday).


Course Fee & Payment

Successful applicants are required to make full payment of the course fee ($500) at the Braddell Heights Community Club (General Office) by cash or cheque. All payment transactions must be received by 15th June 2018 (Friday). Failure to complete payment may result in forfeiture of the participation opportunity.


Masterclass Audience (Orchestral Session ONLY)

All are welcome to observe the orchestral session on 23rd June 2018, 2-5pm at Braddell Heights Community Club Exhibition Hall (Level 5). Admission is free but will be on a first-come-first-serve basis due to venue constraints.

All the information provided is subject to changes at any time. For important updates and announcements, refer to BHSO’s official website or social media channels (Facebook).

For any enquiries of clarifications, please email info@bhso.org.


Master Teachers:
Apo Hsu, Yeh Tsung


About Apo Hsu

“She generates electricity from the podium in two directions: into the orchestra and into the audience.” – The Oregonian

Maestra Hsu began her tenure as the Orchestra Director at the National Taiwan Normal University in the fall of 2003. Since the summers of 2000, Ms. Hsu serves as a guest faculty member at The Conductor’s Institute at Bard College in New York.

She studied at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford in CT for her Artist Diploma in Conducting and Master of Music in Double bass. As well as attended several prestigious conducting programs, the Conductors Institute in South Carolina, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado and the Pierre Monteux Domaine School for Advanced Conductors in Maine. Her main conducting teachers include the late Maestro Charles Bruck, Maestro Murry Sidlin and Maestro Harold Farberman.

Maestra Hsu previously served as the Music Director and Conductor of the Springfield Symphony in Missouri (1995-2003), Artistic Director of The Women’s Philharmonic in San Francisco (1997-2001) and as Music Director and Conductor of the Oregon Mozart Players in Eugene, Oregon (1991-1997) after completing a three-year tenure as Affiliate Artist/NEA Assistant Conductor of the Oregon Symphony (1991-1994).

Guest appearances have taken Maestra Hsu all over the US as well as Russia, Asia, South America and Australia. In a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, she captivated students in an interactive Youth Education Series. Maestra Hsu has also collaborated with various Symphony Orchestras in Taiwan. Other guest appearances have included several performances for youth with the Saint Louis Symphony, a summer concert with the Minnesota Orchestra and two appearances with the San Francisco Symphony. In addition, with the Interlochen Music Festival, Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, the Symphonies of: Southwest Florida, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Eugene, Elgin, Mobile, Harrisburg, Wheeling, West Shore, Lubbock, Wichita, Green Bay, Stockton and Oregon, three appearances with the Hartford Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival; the Missouri and Reno Chamber Orchestras, and a two-week residency in Irkutsk, Russia.

During the 2003 season, Maestra Hsu collaborated with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra. The fall of 2004 marked Maestra Hsu’s debut with the Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan as well as the Sung Nam and Prime Philharmonic Orchestras in Seoul, Korea. Maestra Hsu returned to guest conduct the NTSO in spring 2005 and returned to guest conduct the KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) Symphony Orchestra in November 2005. Maestra Hsu has guest conducted and led the Taiwan Wind Ensemble, the Tao Yuan Symphonic Band and the Taoyuan-citizen Union Band, all esteemed professional symphonic bands in Taiwan, with diverse and interactive programs.

Maestra Hsu has served on the faculty for the American Symphony Orchestra League Conducting Workshops, National Youth Orchestra Festival 2000, the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute 2002 and 2004, the 2007 All State Orchestra in New Mexico and the 2009 All State Orchestra in Colorado. She has been a Music Review Panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, and Meet The Composers in New York City.  And has served as an Evaluation Committee member at the CKS Center in Taipei and various music panels. In April 2015, Maestra Hsu was invited to serve on the 2015 Singapore Youth Festival as an adjudicator.


Conducting Masterclass with Yeh TsungAbout Yeh Tsung 

Yeh Tsung joined the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) as Music Director in January 2002. Under his direction, SCO expanded its repertoire with innovative works such as Marco Polo and Princess Blue — A Symphonic Epic, Instant is a Millennium – A Musical Conversation with Tan Swie Hian, The Grandeur of Tang, Thunderstorm, Admiral of the Seven Seas and Awaking. In Awaking, he melded Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu’s plays into one, elevating Chinese orchestral music to a higher level.

As Music Director of Singapore’s National Day Parade 2007, Yeh Tsung conceptualised a symphonic music structure with supreme, textured virtuosity that incensed the national pride in the air. 240 musicians from the SCO, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Armed Forces Central Band, Malay and Indian ensemble, Nanyin ensemble and a chorus performed under his baton before an audience of 27,000 and millions of television viewers. In 2004 and 2014, Yeh Tsung directed two mega orchestra concerts at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub respectively, of which, 2014’s concert of 4,557 musicians broke 2 Guinness World Records and 3 Singapore Book of Records.

His perseverance and diligence have brought SCO’s performances to new heights, both musically and technically. In March and April 2005, he led the orchestra on a tour to Europe at Barbican Centre in London, The Sage Gateshead and the Budapest Spring Festival. In October 2007, SCO performed at the Beijing Music Festival, China Shanghai International Arts Festival, Macau International Music Festival, as well as at major concert halls in Guangzhou, Zhongshan and Shenzhen. In August 2009, SCO made history by becoming the first Chinese orchestra to perform in the opening week of the Edinburgh Festival. Yeh Tsung was awarded the Cultural Medallion 2013, the highest award given in the field of the arts in Singapore. He is also currently the advisor to the Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra.

Yeh Tsung was the Music Director of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra in the United States from 1988 to 2016. In 1995, he was honoured with the ASCAP Award together with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. As part of the Conductors’ Mentor Programme sponsored by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he worked with Music Director Daniel Barenboim and Principal Guest Conductor Pierre Boulez. In April 1991, he replaced the indisposed Barenboim at short notice. He is also the former Music Director of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He served as Resident Conductor of Florida Orchestra and was the Principal Guest Conductor of Albany Symphony Orchestra of New York. He is the Principal Conductor of the Hua Xia Ensemble in Beijing.

Yeh Tsung started learning the piano at the age of five. He began his study of conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1979, and two years later won a full scholarship to the Mannes College of Music in New York where he received the Academic Excellence Award upon graduation. In 1983, he began his post-graduate study at Yale University under Otto Werner-Mueller. He also studied conducting with Max Rudolf, Leonard Slatkin, Murry Sidlin, Sidney Harth, Han Zhong Jie, Huang Yi Jun and Cao Peng.

In May 2001, Yeh Tsung conducted the Paris-Shanghai Duplex Concert – a collaboration of the French National Symphony Orchestra and Shanghai Broadcasting Orchestra – that was broadcast via satellite to millions of viewers in Europe and Asia. His previous engagements include San Francisco, Tucson and New Haven Symphonies, Calgary and Rochester Philharmonic, and orchestras from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Taipei, Taichung, Japan, France, Poland, Russia and Czech Republic.

Yeh Tsung is a distinguished professor at the China Conservatory of Music and guest professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He was one of the artistic directors of the Symphonic Workshop Ltd in the Czech Republic since 1992, and has also taught conducting workshops hosted by the Conductors Guild, The League of American Orchestras and the Musik Hochschule of Zurich. As a recording artist, Yeh Tsung has made various recordings under the HUGO, Delos and Naxos labels.

Photo credit: Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO)


About BHSO Conducting Masterclasses

Since 2013, the BHSO Conducting Masterclasses has become a much anticipated annual platform for aspiring professional conductors who wish to develop their technique and knowledge in the art of orchestral conducting with highly distinguished conductors and master teachers have included Wang Ya Hui (Singapore), Chan Tze Law (Singapore) & Apo Hsu (Taiwan).

 

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