Our Conductors

Dr Leonard Tan / Music Director

Singaporean musician Leonard Tan is a prolific conductor with a strong presence in the Singapore arts scene. 

He earned his doctoral degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied orchestral conducting with David Effron, Arthur Fagen and Murray Sidlin, and wind conducting with Stephen Pratt. 

He also participated in seminars by Leonard Slatkin, Cliff Colnot and William Jon Gray. Prior to his doctoral studies, he studied orchestral conducting through masterclasses with Leif Segerstam and Alexander Polischuk in Russia, where he worked with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, and with Johannes Schlaefli, where he worked with Academic Orchestra Zurich. 

He has conducted numerous ensembles, including Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore National Youth Orchestra (Principal Conductor), Ensemble de la Belle Musique (Principal Conductor), The Philharmonic Winds (Music Director), and Indiana University orchestras.Performances under Maestro Tan’s direction have been lauded by local and international critics. Singapore’s The Straits Times described his performance of Corigliano’s Symphony No. 3 as “masterfully helmed,” while the American press lauded his “artful conducting.” He served “with distinction” as Principal Conductor of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, where he was praised by the press for his performance of “rare blazing intensity.”

Leonard Tan is currently an Associate Professor of Music, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Mr Yan Yin Wing / Conductor Emeritus

Mr Yan pursued his music studies between 1976 to 1978 in London and obtained the Associate of the Royal College of Music (ARCM) in violin teaching. During this period, he had studied conducting and was awarded a scholarship to attend a Summer Conductors’ Course in 1978 organised by the Ernest Read Music Association.

Yan was awarded a grant from the Singapore Cultural Foundation in 1984 to pursue an Advanced Orchestra Conducting Course at the renowned Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam. During that year, he had also attended an Orchestra Conducting Master Class at the International Sommerakademie of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

Yan has always been heavily involved in the promotion of classical music and encouraging local talents in Singapore by bringing people from all walks of life and of all ages to make music. Since 1989, Yan has been the driving force behind Singapore’s sole community-based Symphony Orchestra. Besides conducting, he also plans, organises and directs its concert seasons in gathering sponsorship support and musicians’ participation. Yan has been dedicated to the cultivation of young local talents and invites overseas musicians and conductors to perform with the orchestra which has garnered the BHSO to great acclaim.

Between 1986 and 1994, Maestro Yan has represented Singapore and led its delegations at the ASEAN Youth Music Workshops and Composers’ Workshops. A keen composer, one of Yan’s compositions “SALUTE” was premiered at the National Tribute Dinner for Singapore’s former Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Another of his composition was performed in China by the National Opera and Ballet Symphony Orchestra of Beijing besides having it performed in Singapore and Malaysia. His other compositions include chamber works, overtures, an operetta, songs, choruses and his first symphony “Harmony”, which was premiered in one of BHSO’s concert seasons in November 2008.

One of Yan’s significant community project included one with the Belgium Boys’ Choir in celebration of our 25th National Day performed with the Braddell Heights Symphony Chorus. Other noteworthy events included the People’s Association’s 40th Anniversary Celebration, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong’s Inauguration Dinner, Esplanade’s Trial & Orientation Concert and the Debutante Ball. Under its Music Director, the BHSO’s stringed musicians recorded its first CD album entitled “My Favourite Classics” in 2006.

Since the initiation of an exchange programme with the Korea Symphony Orchestra (KSO) in 1999, Yan has been a regular guest conductor of the KSO in Seoul. More recently, Yan has further initiated exchange programmes with the Suginami Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, the Penang Symphony Orchestra in Malaysia, and the state orchestra in Siberia of Russia, the Krasnoyarsk Academic Symphony Orchestra.”

12 July 2021 – We are deeply saddened by the passing of our music director and conductor, Adrian Tan (陈志刚). He was the orchestra’s beacon since 2012, and gave us the profound vision of “Music for Everyone”. With this vision and his passion for music, we formed The Joy Chorale to make good music together – for the community, by the community. Today, we have lost a visionary leader, generous mentor, and dear friend. Rest in peace, and you will be fondly remembered by all of us at BHSO.

We are heartened to read all the beautiful tributes to our late music director, Adrian Tan by fellow musicians and peers in the industry. Read the stories from Albert Tiu, Bernard Tan, Noella Yan, Robert Casteels, Chan Yoong Han, John Sharpley, Azariah Tan, Ho Chee Kong and Dr Chang Tou Liang.

Mr Adrian Tan / Conductor Laureate (posthumous)

The late Mr Tan (b. 1977 – 2021) graduated with honours in Theatre Studies from the National University of Singapore. His significant participation in Music and Theatre has distinguished him as a unique multi-disciplinary artist with an impressive repertoire of work and achievements in Singapore and overseas. 

He is the recipient of the prestigious National Arts Council (Singapore) Overseas Scholarship, and completed his Masters in Music Studies (Conducting) studying with Imre Pallo at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. 

He also studied conducting with Harold Farberman, Robert Gutter and Ovidiu Balan, and participated in master classes in orchestral conducting with Gunther Herbig, and in wind and choral conducting with Jan Cober and Hans Leenders respectively.

Adrian has led wind bands and orchestras at the community as well as professional levels. He had served as Music Director of AudioImage Wind Ensemble from (2000-2006), the Paradigm Ensemble (2000-2002) and the Sydney University Wind Orchestra (2011). He actively champions the music of Singaporean composers and has presented premieres of compositions by Singaporean composers Americ Goh, Chen Zhangyi, Zechariah Goh Toh Chai, Ho Chee Kong, Kelly Tang and Phoon Yew Tien. He has also worked with prominent composers in the Japanese video game industry like Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy XII), Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Cross) and Hideki Sakamoto (Echochrome, Yakuza) in numerous video game concerts. He was invited to conduct for the recording of the musical soundtrack for the Australian feature film “Next door to the Velinsky’s” (2010) and the short film “The Domestication of Humans” (2010) at Fox Studios Australia.

In 2010, he was appointed Assistant Choir Master of the Willoughby Symphony Choir (Sydney, Australia). He was also the assistant conductor in the production of Otto Nicolai’s “Merry Wives of Windsor”, and the Musical Director of the production of Darius Milhaud’s “Les Malheurs d’Orphee” at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has also appeared with the Beecroft Orchestra (Australia), Mosman Symphony Orchestra (Australia), Philharmonica “Mihail Jora” (Romania), Ho Chi Minh Conservatory Orchestra (Vietnam) and numerous guest engagements with the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (Vietnam) since 2007.

Adrian was named Music Director of the Singapore Wind Symphony and the Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra in 2012.