Music Director/Resident Conductor:
Lim Soon Lee
Mr Lim Soon Lee has been the orchestra’s music director and resident conductor since 1994. His association with the orchestra, however, dates back to 1980, when he was the tutor for the orchesra’s violin section. After Mr Lim was appointed as the orchestra’s music director and resident conductor, the orchestra’s name was changed from the National University of Singapore Concert Orchestra to the National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra (NUSSO) in September 1995. Mr Lim’s leadership has been invaluable to the orchestra, and he has brought the orchestra forward under his musical vision.
Mr Lim’s musical journey began at the age of eight with the piano and violin. He obtained his Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music for violin and viola in 1981 and in the same year, was awarded the First Prize in the Viola Open Section at the Singapore National Music Competition. In 1983, under the Public Service Commission/Singapore Symphony Orchestra Scholarship, Soon Lee graduated from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, New York, with a Bachelor of Music (Distinction).
He was with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) from 1987 to 1997, during which he served as the Sub-Principal Violist from 1989 to 1997. He was Singapore’s only representative member of the 1988 World Philharmonic Orchestra in Montreal, Canada. He was the Assistant Conductor of the Singapore Youth Orchestra (SYO) from 1990 to June 1997 and was also responsible for the SYO Training Ensemble. In 1983, he conducted the SSO at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 17th SEA Games at the Singapore National Stadium as well as at the SSO’s Family Concert and open-air concert at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. In 1996, he conducted the SSO at the World Trade Organisation First Ministerial Conference’s Farewell Concert for 4000 delegates at the Sentosa Musical Fountain. He conducted the Asian Youth Orchestra during the National Day Parade at the National Stadium in August 1997.
In 1995, Mr Lim was awarded the Jean Frederic Perrenoud Prize with Certificate of Distinction in Orchestral Conducting at the 4th Vienna International Music Competition. He was also the finalist for the Outstanding Young Persons of Singapore Award conferred by the Orchid Jayceettes of Singapore in recognition of his contribution to the social development of Singapore.
He was invited to conduct the New World Symphony Orchestra at Miami in April 2000. He also conducted the Mozart’s Requiem at the Dennis Keene Choral Festival, 27 July to 7 August 2000, with the Keat Singers in Kent, Connecticut.In October 2001, Mr Soon Lee was selected to conduct the Plyzen Radio Symphony Orchestra (of the Czech Republic), to perform works by Jean Sibelius at the RSO Concert Hall during the International Sibelius Symposium Masterclass with Finland’s renowned conductor Jorma Panula.
Foo Say Ming
Mr Foo Say Ming is NUSSO’s Assistant Conductor, and has led NUSSO in premiering Singaporean composer Chen Zhangyi’s Rain Tree, and the Singapore’s premier of Sculthorpe’s Piano Concerto with British virtuoso, Geoffrey Saba.
Mr Foo Say Ming was awarded the Best Performer Award at the 4th National Music Competition in 1983. He was conferred a Public Service Commission/Singapore Symphony Orchestra scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, where he attained his Diploma of the Royal College of Music for Performers in 1989. He won many notable prizes during his course of study, notably The Margerie & Arnold Ziff Prize for outstanding graduation recital, a Concerto Prize, an Exhibition Prize and the WH Reed Prize. A recipient of a Monte de Paschi Summer Scholarship, he studied at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Sienna (Italy) with Boris Belkin in 1987. He also studied with Pierre Amoyal at the Conservatoire de Lausanne (Switzerland).
He has worked with many prominent musicians, such as Dennis Lee and Pascal Rogue, and composers such as Kelly Tang. Currently, he is working with musicians from the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.