Ho Chung Yeh, Principal Guest Conductor
After an exhaustive official search for an assistant conductor the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Daniel Barenboim personally invited Ho Chung Yeh to conduct the CSO in rehearsal in 1999, and consequently appointed him to the CSO, where he worked closely with esteemed virtuosos and maestros such as Barenboim, Boulez, Dutoit, Chailly, Temirkanov, Järvi, and Zukerman. A winner at the First Neeme Järvi Master Course/Conducting Competition in 2000, he shared the podium with Maestro Järvi at the grand finale concert of the David Oistrakh Festival in Estonia. One of the most exciting conductors today, Yeh frequently travels around the world, performing with orchestras including the Petrozavodsk Philharmonic, Kharkov Philharmonic, Evanston Symphony Orchestra, Sochi Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Saint Petersburg Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In December 2001, he was invited by the Novosibirsk Philharmonic to conduct Handel's Messiah in the Fourth International Christmas Festival for the Arts, working with Novosibirsk Philharmonic's Kamerata, as well as soloists and choirs from Germany, England, Lithuania and Russia. The performances were heralded as the "Event of the Year". In 2003, he was the first conductor to be featured in the "Young Maestro Series" with the Taipei Chinese Orchestra. His performance was one of only a few to be distinguished in the "Performing Arts Yearbook 2003", and he was praised as the consummate conductor of the year by the critics. After touring with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and opening the Beethoven Symphony Series, he was immediately reengaged for another series of concerts and the International String Music Festival, at which, by his design and invitation, three principal string players from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were presented in Taiwan for the very first time.
Known for his entrepreneurial abilities, Yeh is a creative conductor and an accomplished orchestra builder. He has a true passion for initiating and exploring new possibilities. In 2002, he was appointed the Music Director of the West Suburban Youth Orchestra of Chicago. Under his vision and leadership, the size of the orchestra and the length of the programs nearly doubled as new ideas were constantly implemented and developed. This resulted in the organization winning the "Youth Orchestra of the Year" Award from the Illinois Council of Orchestras in 2006 for the first time in the orchestra's 50-year history. In 2001, he formed the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest Chamber Orchestra and served as the Music Director. After its inaugural debut concert, he was engaged to conduct the orchestra at the Oak Park Centennial Gala concert to celebrate the city's 100-year anniversary. While serving as the Music Director, he initiated and designed the week-long North Shore Chamber Orchestra Summer Music Festival, which included chamber and orchestral concerts, as well as educational and community outreach programs.
He has also served as the Principal Conductor of the Sochi Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, was a member of the Board for the Illinois Council of Orchestras, and the Music Advisory Board for the Chinese Fine Arts Society in Chicago.
Yeh studied in Taiwan, the United States and Russia, receiving a DMA in conducting. His mentors include the legendary Ilya Musin, as well as Alexander Polishchuk at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, Daniel Barenboim, Neeme Järvi, John Nelson, Larry Rachleff and Harold Farberman. In addition to conducting, he is also an active promoter of the arts , contributing to numerous newspaper articles, radio shows and TV programs around the globe.
Yeh's life experiences have sensitized him to different cultural orientations, a facet helpful both on and off the podium. Whether expounding on the virtues of music to children or mesmerizing audiences with his eloquent interpretations, Ho Chung Yeh is truly a master of his craft.