Australian conductor Dane Lam is Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of China's Xi'an Symphony Orchestra. Acclaimed by Limelight magazine as “one of the most talented young conductors Australia has produced” and by the Manchester Evening News as “a master of rhythmic and articulatory complexities”, he has earned a reputation as an electrifying musician in a large and varied repertoire. Prior to Xi'an Dane had highly-acclaimed tenures as Principal Conductor of
the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra; Associate Conductor with Opera Holland Park; and was Assistant Conductor to Kurt Masur at the Orchestre National de France and the Leverhulme Junior Fellow in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music.
First appearing with the Sydney Symphony in the Sydney Opera House at age eighteen, Dane has since conducted orchestras on four continents including the Melbourne and Queensland Symphonies, Manchester Camerata, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Sofia Festival Orchestra, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, and Juilliard Orchestra.
Born to an Australian mother and Chinese father, Dane's appointment to the Xi'an Symphony Orchestra in 2014 is historic, as he is one of the only conductors born outside of China to hold such a position. He will spend several weeks each year in Xi'an, based in its state-of-the-art Concert Hall, exploring the core symphonic repertory, opera, as well as film and traditional Chinese symphonic music.
2014/15 sees Dane conducting Aida at Opera Holland Park as well as a full season of symphonic concerts with the Xi'an Symphony Orchestra. Highlights include La traviata, Beethoven's Emperor with Yundi Li, and Brahms' First Symphony.
In recent seasons Dane has conducted Opera Holland Park's productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia and Norma, RTE Concert Orchestra (Dublin), Manchester Camerata, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10, Oxford University Orchestra, British Youth Opera’s The Bartered Bride and Paul Bunyan, and RNCM Opera’s La Clemenza di Tito and Carmen. He made his German début with the Munich Radio Orchestra and his Royal Festival Hall début with members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra as part of London Music Masteres' Bridge Program. He has conducted in Asia with the Hokkaido Chamber Players in Sapporo’s Kitara Hall and also toured the continent as assistant conductor with the Orchestre National de France. Dane made his New Zealand debut with Dunedin’s Southern Sinfonia to which he has returned on numerous occasions and returned to his native Australia to tour with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. He led the world première season of Jonathan Henderson’s opera Dirty Apple with Opera Queensland, a company with which Dane was a Young Artist until 2009. Additionally, Dane was among a select group of conductors chosen by Masur to study with him in masterclasses in New York, Verbier and Bonn.
Born into a musical family, Dane began to play the piano as a child, followed by studies in clarinet. He was first introduced to conducting through the Symphony Australia Conductor Programme who noted his talent and nurtured his development. After completing his study at the University of Queensland under Gwyn Roberts, Dane was accepted, aged only twenty-two, as a postgraduate student under James DePreist, at New York’s Juilliard School.
Distinguished conductors such as Christopher Seaman, Gianluigi Gelmetti, and Sir Mark Elder, have mentored Dane over the years. As assistant to Gelmetti, Dane had the opportunity to conduct the Sydney Symphony both in concert at the Sydney Opera House and on the orchestra’s Australian Tour. He also studied under Gelmetti at Siena’s Accademia Musicale Chigiana. He has participated in masterclasses with Michael Tilson-Thomas, the late Sir Charles Mackerras, Martyn Brabbins, David Robertson, Gianandrea Noseda, and Jorma Panula, amongst others, where he has conducted orchestra such as the Hallé Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta and Tasmanian Symphony and Adelaide Symphony.