Dane Lam, Conductor
The Chinese-Australian conductor, Dane Lam, Principal Conductor of China’s Xi’an Symphony Orchestra, enjoys a career spanning three continents. With a particularly close relationship with London’s Opera Holland Park, he is equally at home in the theatre as on the concert platform.
Dane made his debut, aged only eighteen, with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House and has since conducted an array of leading international orchestras and opera companies including: the Queensland, Adelaide, Canberra, Dunedin, Kunming, and Shandong Symphony Orchestras, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Het Residentie Orkest, City of London Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata, South Bank Sinfonia, Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra and Opera Queensland, Scottish Opera, and Bury Court Opera.
Since first conducting for Opera Holland Park in 2014, Dane has returned to the festival each season. His London mainstage debut with OHP’s La Cenerentola attracted widespread critical acclaim. Apart from La Cenerentola, Dane has also conducted performances of various operas at OHP including Don, Giovanni, Aida, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Norma and the family opera, Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Because of his contribution to the operatic scene, in the 2018 season, Dane was honoured by the broader opera community with his nomination as “Best Newcomer” in the International Opera Awards, to be announced early April at the ceremony at London’s Coliseum.
In his other musical home, the ancient city of Xi’an, the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra has grown under Dane’s leadership. Since assuming the post of Principal Conductor in 2014, XSO’s classical subscription offering has almost doubled while attendance has increased commensurately. He led the very first staged, professional opera in this 3000-year-old city with Tosca in 2015 and Le nozze di Figaro in 2016 while raising the artistic standard and profile of the orchestra to attract such artists as Jose Carreras, Sumi Jo, Midori Goto, and Yundi Li. Dane conducted the XSO at the 2016 CCTV1 Mid-Autumn Festival Gala which was televised live around China and internationally to an audience exceeding one billion viewers while presiding over a period of financial security for the organisation and forging international partnerships. Moreover, Xi’an has seen important premieres during Dane’s tenure including the first Mahler Symphony (Symphony No. 4) in 2016 as well as the city’s first cycle of Beethoven Symphonies in 2017.
This season’s engagements include his return to Opera Holland Park for a new production of Così fan tutte; La Traviata and excerpts from The Rake’s Progress with Scottish Opera; Giulio Cesare with Bury Court Opera; Norma with Chelsea Opera Group; Carl Davis’s Alice’s Adventures in Winter Wonderland with De Dutch Don’t Dance Division and Het Residentie Orkest; concerts with the Queensland and Canberra Symphony Orchestras; as well as a full season of concerts with the XSO with such collaborators as Stephen Hough, Lauren Fagan, Freddy Kempf, Feng Ning, and Liwei Qin and masterworks including Mahler’s Second Symphony and Bernstein’s Candide in concert.
Born in Brisbane, Australia to an Australian mother and a Singaporean-Chinese father, Dane played piano, clarinet, and saxophone as a child, gaining entrance to the University of Queensland where he studied conducting under Gwyn Roberts. As an alumnus of Symphony Services Australia’s Conductor Development Program Dane conducted most of Australia’s professional ensembles before the age of twenty and was propelled into an assistantship with Gianluigi Gelmetti, then Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony and Teatro dell’opera di Roma. With Gelmetti, Dane led the Sydney Symphony on tour as well as in the Sydney Opera House as well as spending three summers studying at Siena’s Accademia Musicale Chigiana. Dane attained his Masters from The Juilliard School on a full scholarship under James DePreist before undertaking a highly-successful Junior Fellowship in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music under Sir Mark Elder, Clark Rundell and Mark Heron.
Previously, Dane was Assistant Conductor to the Kurt Masur at the Orchestre National de France; and a Young Artist with Opera Queensland. He is an International Ambassador of the Royal Northern College of Music and currently divides his time between London, Xi’an, and Brisbane.