Home > Artists > Lan Shui


Music Director: Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Chief Conductor: Copenhagen Phil


Lan Shui has been Music Director of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra since 1997, Chief Conductor of the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra since the 2007/08 season and Artistic Advisor of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra since January 2010. Guest engagements this season include San Francisco Symphony, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

As a guest conductor, Lan Shui has worked in the United States with orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony and Minnesota orchestras. In Europe, he has performed with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Gothenburg Symphony and the Deutsche Radiophilharmonie. He was also Principal Guest Conductor of the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and has performed at festivals including Tanglewood and Aspen. Upcoming engagements include San Francisco Symphony, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

He is renowned for his abilities as an orchestral builder and for his passion in commissioning, premiering and recording new works by the cream of Asia’s composers. Under Shui’s direction, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra has become a world-class ensemble and enjoys an exclusive recording contract with the BIS label. Shui has led the orchestra on several acclaimed tours to Germany, Switzerland, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, Spain and the USA, and is passionate about commissioning, premiering and recording works by Asian composers.

The short biography displayed on this page is for information only. For concert programmes and promotional materials please use the downloadable versions.


“[Goldmark’s Rustic Wedding Symphony] is projected here with infectious enthusiasm by Shui and his excellent orchestra.” (Erik Levi, BBC Music Magazine, December 2013)

"BIS’s latest Rachmaninov disc with the excellent Singapore Symphony Orchestra and conductor Lan Shui … The orchestra comes into its own in another early Rachmaninov work, the Symphony No.1, dazzling in its force and promise, projected here with gorgeous colours and the sort of beseeching woodwind playing that can make a listener go weak at the knees." (Geoff Brown, The Times, June 2013)

“I’ve rarely heard such extreme fortissimos or whispering pianissimos. Their music explodes and coalesces in an instant; the aural equivalent of a murmur of starlings above the cathedrals of St Petersburg. [5 stars]” (John Evans, Sinfini Music, July 2013)

“Shui, conducting without a score, helped them to make this big piece sound like the musical revolution that Beethoven intended it to be. A fast and furious first movement was full of light and shade...Shui held the long slow movement together with no loss of flow.” (The Straits Times, August 2012)

"The concert opened with a sparkling performance of Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks that was full of dynamic nuances, expressive touches, and a level of gaiety and elegance seldom encountered in this warhorse. After intermission came Sibelius's Symphony No. 2, where Shui demonstrated his mastery of the long line, pacing each movement with care and saving the ultimate thrill for the symphony's crowning apotheosis. Strings, right to the back of each section, gave 110%; brass soared with noble warmth, and woodwinds put forth solos of delicate beauty. This may well be the finest performance of it I have ever heard. One cannot avoid comparing what Shui has achieved in Singapore with what George Szell did in Cleveland half a century earlier or what Simon Rattle did more recently in Birmingham. He has turned a good regional orchestra into a world-class ensemble that plays its heart out at every concert and where each individual musician is a hand-picked virtuoso." (American Record Guide, May 2010)

“Leave prejudices to one side and banish mental laziness… enjoy this extraordinary Rachmaninov which has nothing to fear from comparison with much better-known recordings.” (Scherzo, September 2009)

“Shui wielded his symphonic forces with fine control, alternating between lush romanticism and cool transparency as the music required.” (Financial Times, September 2008)

“With Shui on the podium and Carl Nielsen's 3rd Symphony "Espansiva" on the music stands something quite rare occurred. The music overflowed.” (Politiken, March 2008)

“In brief, this is the most astounding, effective, and beautiful recording of La Mer I have ever heard.” (American Record Guide, September 2007)