Interview with Maestro Chan Tze Law

Maestro Chan Tze Law is MFO's Music Director. Besides leading the MFO, he is also the Associate Director at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and Music Director of the Orchestra of the Music Makers. You can read more about him here.

The Majestic Piano is the MFO's inaugural performance held on 1 June at SOTA Concert Hall. Together with award-winning Japanese pianist Miyuki Washimiya, join us as we bring to life two of the most popular piano concertos ever written. Tickets can be purchased through SISTIC.

This concert is presented by the Kris Foundation.


MFO: Maestro, you were the founding Music Director of the Singapore Festival Orchestra, which was the resident orchestra of the Singapore Arts Festival from 2007 to 2011, and you are now the founding Music Director of the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra (MFO). Could you share with us the reasons behind the formation of the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, and its link to the Singapore Festival Orchestra?

Chan Tze Law (CTL): The MFO was formed as the spiritual successor to the very successful SFO. The SFO performances, though very well received, mostly took place as part of the Festival, but there were many opportunities that fell outside of the Festival period too. The MFO is set up to perform all year round.

MFO: Who are the musicians that make up the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra?

CTL: The music landscape in Singapore has changed significantly. Today, there are many trained musicians who thrive on portfolio careers. They are professionally trained as performers, but are also keen and dedicated teachers, and some even find time to contribute to the arts eco system in other voluntary ways. The MFO is made up of many of these musicians who enjoy performing in high level orchestras and world class productions. Some of them make up the management of the orchestra. together, they bring both humility, as well as decades of combined orchestral experience to the MFO and our audience.

MFO: What are some of the challenges faced by a newly-formed orchestra, especially a fully-independent one like the MFO?

CTL: Much the same as any other orchestra; dedication to music and staying together as one family. But the MFO are mostly made up of the same musicians who did sterling service in the SFO, so I am very confident we can conquer these challenges. Our independent status does mean that we are free to decide which projects to choose from and whom to collaborate with, and that's a programming asset.

MFO: The first public performances of the MFO’s inaugural season will feature the MFO in collaboration with acclaimed Japanese pianist Miyuki Washimiya in 2 of the most popular piano concertos of the repertory – Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”. What are some of the things that you most looking forward to as the concert draws near?

CTL: One of the most exciting moments of a musician's life is the build up to the next concert. The coming together of the details, managing last minute changes, as well as preparing the music itself, are all an adrenalin rush. This concert is no different, apart from the fact its MFO's first. And the opportunity to work with the Kris Foundation and Miyuki on this programme of evergreen piano concerti symbolises to us that the modern classically trained orchestra as we are is ready for all music genres!

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