Dane Lam is Principal Conductor of the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra and Associate Music Director and Resident Conductor of Opera Queensland

Australian-Chinese conductor Dane Lam was appointed Associate Music Director and Resident Conductor at Opera Queensland in December 2020, a position created for him specifically and the first of its kind in the company’s history. He is also Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of China’s Xi’an Symphony Orchestra. Dane has been leading the orchestral revival in Australia following the Covid-lockdown and has conducted the first performances in front of live audiences for Opera Queensland, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. As well as Opera Queensland’s new production of Le nozze di Figaro, his 2021 highlights include the inaugural production of the National Opera in Canberra, La clemenza di Tito, concerts with the Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, and a Martha Argerich and friends festival with the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra. Elsewhere, Dane has appeared with Opera Australia, Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park, the Canberra, Western Australia, Dunedin, Beijing, Suzhou, Kunming and Shandong Symphony Orchestras, Munich Radio Orchestra, Het Residentie Orkest, City of London Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata, Southbank Sinfonia, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Beethoven Orchester Bonn and the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

Since Dane assumed the post of Principal Conductor in Xi’an 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, followed by Le nozze di Figaro, La traviata and Candide, raising the artistic standard and profile of the orchestra to attract such artists as Jose Carreras, Sumi Jo, Midori Goto, Barry Douglas, Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough, Ning Feng, Kirill Gerstein, 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 Beethoven and Brahms Symphony Cycles, and an ongoing Mahler Symphony Cycle in partnership with the University of Queensland. Following his 2019 company debut conducting La bohème for Opera Australia, he was immediately reinvited to conduct Don Giovanni the following year. Other recent highlights include Carl Davis’ A Christmas Carol with Het Residentie Orkest in The Hague, Orpheus et Eurydie with Opera Queensland and Cilea’s L’arlesiana at Opera Holland Park, with whom Dane has a close relationship that has also seen him conduct Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni, Aida, Norma, Mascagni’s Iris, Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and a new production of Così fan tutte.

Born in Brisbane, Australia to an Australian mother and a Singaporean-Chinese father, Dane played piano, clarinet, and saxophone as a child, and studied conducting under Gwyn Roberts at the University of Queensland. Following an assistantship and three years of study with Gianluigi Gelmetti, then Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Dane attained his Masters from The Juilliard School on a full scholarship under James DePreist before undertaking a Junior Fellowship in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music under Sir Mark Elder, Clark Rundell and Mark Heron. A protégé of the late Kurt Masur, Dane held the post as his Assistant Conductor at the Orchestre National de France. As well as a former Principal Conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Associate Conductor with Opera Holland Park, Dane is an International Ambassador of the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2021, he was appointed an Associate Lecturer at the University of Queensland, where he will be taking the University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra in new and exciting directions exciting directions within and outside the university community and has been tasked with establishing an elite conducting program. Dane currently divides his time between London, Xi’an, and Brisbane.

Watch Dane Lam in performance with the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra and soprano Lauren Fagan

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