"Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5… benefited from So’s choice of apt tempi…a sustained sense of direction and well-plotted climax." Sam Olluver, South China Morning Post
One of the inaugural Dudamel Conducting Fellows at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Associate Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Perry So received first prize at the Fifth International Prokofiev Conducting Competition in 2008 (held in St. Petersburg), only the third time the top prize had been awarded in the history of the competition.
Engagements in the 2011-2012 season include debuts with the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and his Hollywood Bowl debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as return visits to the New Zealand and Asturias Symphony Orchestras, the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Recent seasons have seen his debuts with the London, Japan, Zagreb, Seoul and Malaysian Philharmonics, the Milwaukee, New Zealand, Queensland and Asturias Symphony Orchestras, the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia in Moscow, the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan (Taiwan Philharmonia), and regular subscription concerts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He completed in 2010 an extended nine-week residency with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducting four concerts and assisting Gustavo Dudamel, Lorin Maazel and Herbert Blomstedt, resulting in immediate re-invitation.
Born in Hong Kong in 1982, he graduated from Yale University in Comparative Literature, where he studied with noted literary theorist and Russianist Michael Holquist. As an undergraduate at Yale, he began his conducting studies with James Sinclair, and was Music Director of the Saybrook Orchestra and the Opera Theatre of Yale College, leading productions of Mozart’s Zauberflöte, Cosí fan tutte, Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Britten’s Turn of the Screw. He also developed an abiding interest for music of the Renaissance and the Baroque, often leading the Yale Collegium Musicum from the harpsichord. He subsequently studied conducting under Swiss pedagogue Gustav Meier at the Peabody Institute. He continues to collaborate frequently with young musicians, working with the Australian Youth Orchestra, Yale School of Music, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and in his own festival in the rural Chinese province of Anhui.
In January 2012, he released his first commercial recording on the Oehms Classics Label with the German violinist Alexander Gilman and the Cape Town Philharmonic in a program of American violin concerti. Perry So was Musical America’s New Artist of the Month for October 2009. His current mentors include Edo de Waart and Esa-Pekka Salonen.