Born in Singapore, Music Director Leonard Tan’s professional work traverses the worlds of conducting, academia, and music education.
After a prolific ten-year career as conductor-educator, he was awarded the National Institute of Education-Nanyang Technological University Overseas Graduate Scholarship to pursue the Ph.D in music education at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied music education with Estelle Jorgensen, wind conducting with Stephen Pratt, theory with Robert Hatten, Schenkerian analysis with Frank Samarotto, and tuba with Daniel Perantoni. He also studied orchestral conducting with David Effron, Arthur Fagen, and Murray Sidlin, and participated in seminars by Leonard Slatkin, Cliff Colnot, and William Jon Gray. In recognition of his outstanding academic achievements, he was awarded the 2012 IU Dissertation Year Fellowship.
He played the violin and tuba in his formative musical years and received training in harmony with Leong Yoon Pin and conducting with Robert Casteels. He then studied orchestral conducting through masterclasses with Leif Segerstam and Alexander Polischuk in Russia, where he worked with St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, and with Johannes Schlaefli, where he worked with Academic Orchestra Zurich. In addition, he studied wind conducting through masterclasses with Eugene Corporon, Jack Stamp, Craig Kirchhoff, and Timothy Reynish.
His work has been lauded by local and international critics. Singapore’s The Straits Times gave rave reviews for his performance of Husa’s Music for Prague while Indiana’s The Herald Times noted his “artful conducting” of Grainger’s music. He conducted Singapore Symphony Orchestra musicians in a Singapore-Japan Composers Exchange Concert, Singapore National Youth Orchestra musicians at the prestigious “Ong Teng Cheong” concert, and assisted in a production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
He has led performances at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, Carnegie Hall, Musical Arts Center, and Sydney Opera House. In the United States, he guest conducted the Indiana University Summer Concert Band, University of North Texas Wind Symphony at the 15th Conductor’s Collegium, and several high school wind ensembles. He also conducted the Indiana University Symphony and University Orchestras in reading sessions of new compositions. He has adjudicated in festivals in the United States and Asia, and presented lectures at the University of the Pacific, University of Kansas, and Indiana University.
Prior to his doctoral studies, he was music director of National University of Singapore Wind Symphony, conductor of Singapore National Youth Sinfonia, assistant conductor of Singapore National Youth Orchestra, lecturer at LaSalle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and director of several ensembles from secondary through tertiary levels. Ensembles under his direction were recognized for their excellence through numerous top ratings in festivals in the United States, Asia, and Europe.
As a scholar, he has presented at the Eighth International Society for Philosophy of Music Education Conference at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, the 2010 CIC Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, and the Seventh Research International in Music Education Conference at the University of Exeter, UK. His writings have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Band Research, Philosophy of Music Education Review, and Music Educators Journal.
Bio correct as of February 01, 2011