Choo Hoey

He was born in Palembang, Sumatra, Indonesia on 20/10/1934. He began his musical training at the age of six, learning how to play the violin with the help of a Teach Yourself book. In 1951, after two years of basic studies in violin in Singapore, he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied violin, French horn and conducting under David Martin, Aubrey Brain and Maurice Miles, respectively. In 1954, he studied conducting under Igor Markevitch and violin under André Gertler. In 1957, he continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. In 1958, he began his international career as guest conductor in Europe, North and South America, China and the Soviet Union. He has conducted more than 60 orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of Buenos Aires, the Beijing Central Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra et al. Between 1968 and 1977 he lived and conducted in Greece. As principal conductor of the Greek National Opera (1971-1978) he directed productions of classical and contemporary repertoire including the Greek premiere of The Rake’s Progress by Stravinsky. He worked with the Athens State Orchestra and the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, conducted world premieres of contemporary Greek works and recorded with the Hellenic Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. Upon being formally invited by the government of Singapore, he returned to his home country in 1978 to found the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO). He served as its music director for 17 years, extensively developing its repertoire and earning its international acclaim. Today he is SSO’s Conductor Emeritus. He has been awarded several prizes in Singapore for his overall contribution while, in 1977, the French government honored him as a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 1969 he married a Greek archaeologist and today lives in Athens with his family. // Last update of the biography: December 2015 - The list of productions below is continually updated.