Saturday February 25, 2012
Conductor to do Malaysia proud at concert in Shanghai
By ISABELLE LAI
PETALING JAYA: It will be another feather in the cap for Malaysia when its first woman conductor, Datuk Ooi Chean See, leads the famed Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) in concert next month.
Themed “Spring Scenery Throughout the World”, the concert will be held at the Shanghai Concert Hall on March 4 at 10.30am and broadcast live by Shanghai Broadcasting via the www.eastradio.com and http://xgh.eastday.com websites.
Ooi, who was conferred Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit in 2005 for her achievements, said she was honoured by the invitation to work with the SPO.
“It is a great privilege and pleasure to conduct such dedicated and inspired musicians who work very professionally with me towards the same goal of making great music together,” she told The Star via e-mail here yesterday.
Appointed as one of Malaysia’s tourism ambassadors in 2009, Ooi said this was the second time she would take up the baton to lead SPO, having done it before during the Shanghai Expo’s Tourism Malaysia Musical Evening in 2010.
Ooi, a Penangite, is also a trained concert pianist and plays the violin, harpsichord and percussion as well.
She bagged the first prize in the International Conductors Competition in the German cities of Halle and Hamm in 1991 and held the position of First Conductor of the Classic Philharmonic Orchestra in Bonn, Germany, from 1991 to 1994.
She was appointed resident conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in 1997, which she led until 2005.
She then served as guest conductor with the Bruckner Orchestra in Austria, the birthplace of musical greats, including her favourite composer Mozart, “Father of the Symphony” Franz Joseph Haydn and Franz Peter Schubert.
Ooi currently resides in Germany where she serves as a guest conductor with several groups.
“I sincerely hope that through the concert and Shanghai Broadcasting, I can help promote Malaysia to audiences all over the world,” she said.