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Musical World

Perry So

  • Conductor


Perry So engagements in past seasons include his debuts with the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia in Moscow, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, his Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, his Taiwanese debut with the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan (Taiwan Philharmonia), and two subscription concerts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He completed in 2010 an extended six-week residency with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducting four concerts and assisting Lorin Maazel and Herbert Blomstedt, resulting in immediate re-invitation.  Other orchestras he has worked with include the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the State Hermitage Orchestra of Russia, the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra, and the Staatskapelle Weimar.

In addition to over 35 concerts in Hong Kong this season, Perry So has designed and spearheaded the orchestra's educational and outreach programmes. In addition to his work on the podium in that regard, this season he has initiated a collaborative dance project structured around Stravinsky's Firebird, introducing children under twelve from economically under-privileged backgrounds to the joy of artistic creation. 

Born in Hong Kong in 1982, he graduated from Yale University in Comparative Literature, where he studied with noted literary theorist and Russianist Michael Holquist. As an undergraduate at Yale, he was Music Director of the Saybrook Orchestra and the Opera Theatre of Yale College, leading productions of Mozart's Zauberflöte, Cosí fan tutte, Handel's Giulio Cesare and Britten's Turn of the Screw. He also developed an abiding interest for music of the Renaissance and the Baroque, often leading the Yale Collegium Musicum from the harpsichord. He subsequently studied conducting under Swiss pedagogue Gustav Meier at the Peabody Institute.

Perry So founded the Huangshan International Music Festival, set in the mountains of central China. He was also a prizewinner at the Mitropoulous Competition held in Athens, Greece, and in the winter of 2009 he received a commendation by the Hong Kong Home Affairs Bureau for his international musical accomplishments. He was Musical America's New Artist of the Month for October 2009. His current mentors include Edo de Waart and Esa-Pekka Salonen.