Assoc. Prof. Chan Tze Law

Vice Dean, Yong Siew Tow Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore

Singaporean conductor Tzelaw Chan is Music Director of Singapore’s Metropolitan Festival Orchestra (MFO) and the award-winning Orchestra of The Music Makers (OMM).

In 2020 he made history by conducting OMM and an international star cast at the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay to critical acclaim in Die Walküre, Singapore’s first ever production of a Wagner ring cycle opera with Opera (UK) proclaiming that Chan “elicited a multitude of expressive nuances and drew immense power without force from his musicians.”

Chan has appeared with major orchestras and soloists in the Asia pacific region. His performances of Mahler’s 8th symphony with the Orchestra of the Music Makers and Sing50 concerts with the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and Lang Lang were named ‘Best concerts of 2015’ by Singapore’s Sunday Times. Germany’s Der neue Merker observed that “listeners felt they have concluded a great journey of time and spirit”. The West Australian lavished praise on his performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring “Tze Law (Chan) did wonders from the podium. It was a tour de force.” American Record Guide remarked that that in Mahler’s Resurrection symphony he led “with a full understanding of the Mahler idiom”. Chan’s performance of Elgar’s The Music Makers was described by Classical Voice America as ‘breathtaking walls of sound and intimate moments of haunting beauty’. In 2020 he conducted Die Walküre, the first ever Singapore production of a Wagner ring cycle opera to critical acclaim, with Opera (UK) proclaiming that Chan “elicited a multitude of expressive nuances and drew immense power without force from his musicians.”

As a pedagogue, Chan is Vice-Dean and a founding faculty member of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, and is widely credited for setting up its conservatory orchestra and New Music Ensemble. Chan was the founding chief conductor of the Australian International Summer Orchestral Institute, and recently conducted the Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp. He has given masterclasses in conducting at the Peabody Institute, USA, and Royal Academy of Music, London and co-lectures on ‘Tune in to leadership’ at the Senior Management programme of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. In 2019 he served on the selection committee of the Oxford (University) Conducting Institute International Conducting Studies Conference.

Chan holds bachelor and doctoral degrees in conducting as well as a master’s degree in management. His conducting teachers included luminaries Christopher Adey and Norman Del Mar, and he made his Singapore conducting debut with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in 2001. In 2018 he received the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore’s Artistic excellence award for his numerous contributions to the Singapore music community. Chan’s concerts and CD recordings have been broadcast on Australia’s ABC Classic FM, UK’s BBC Radio 3 and featured on Singapore Airlines Krisworld In-flight Classical Music selection. His most recent recordings are available on Spotify and Apple Music.