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Classical Music

Round Top Music Festival: Conductor Perry So

We chat with acclaimed Hong Kong-born, Yale-educated conductor, Perry So.



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Located just up the proverbial road from Houston, the Round Top Music Festival kicked off on June 1 and will continue through July 12. Nearly 100 young musicians from seven countries, 26 states and over 45 conservatories and universities have gathered at the distinguished summer music institute in the Texas Hill Country. Under the mentorship of 38 faculty-artists and 10 guest conductors, the students will receive intense training and perform orchestral masterpieces, contemporary works and chamber music over the course of six weeks.

Guest conductor, Perry So, will lead a program of Sir William Walton’s Viola Concerto (with Brett Deubner as soloist) and Sir Edward Elgar’s Symphony No. 2 on Saturday, June 14 at 3:30pm at the Festival Concert Hall.

One of the inaugural Dudamel Conducting Fellows at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Perry So received the first and special prizes at the Fifth International Prokofiev Conducting Competition in St. Petersburg in 2008. This season, engagements include a Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra gala concert, debuts with the Residentie Orkest and the Tenerife, Charleston and Israel Symphony Orchestras and return visits to the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and Tivoli Festival, following his highly successful debut there.

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.

Houston Public Media’s Catherine Lu spoke with Maestro So about the connection between comparative literature and conducting, as well as this weekend’s all-British program.

*This interview was recorded on June 10 with Perry So on the phone from Round Top, TX.


Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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