Maestro Tsung Yeh began his tenure at the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) as Music Director in 2002. Under his leadership, SCO expanded its repertoire with ground-breaking works such as Marco Polo and Princess Blue — A Symphonic Epic (2002), and Admiral of the Seven Seas (2005) and Awaking (2008). In 2013, Tsung Yeh was awarded the Cultural Medallion; the highest accolade in the arts. After stepping down from his Music Directorship of 20 years with SCO, Tsung Yeh is appointed as Conductor Emeritus of the organisation from 1 January 2023.
With relentless vigour, Tsung Yeh pioneered and developed SCO’s signature Nanyang music style, infusing Southeast Asian elements and heritage into symphonic works. Tsung Yeh put on a grand display of Nanyang music during the National Day Parade 2007, where he conducted an awe-inspiring performance comprised of musicians from SCO, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Armed Forces Central Band, Malay, Indian and Nanyin ensembles. The Singapore International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition (SICCOC) was initiated by Tsung Yeh, and subsequently supported by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to act as a platform to educate and establish repertoire of Nanyang and Singapore-inspired music.
Flying the Singapore flag high, Tsung Yeh has led SCO on numerous international concert tours to great acclaim. In March 2005, he led the orchestra on its first tour to Europe at Barbican Centre in London, The Sage Gateshead and the Budapest Spring Festival. History was made when Tsung Yeh led SCO to be the first Chinese orchestra to perform in the Edinburgh Festival. Since then, SCO’s international performances have proliferated under Tsung Yeh’s guidance, touring China, England, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, and South Korea. In 2019, Tsung Yeh led SCO on a wildly successful concert tour in Europe, showcasing Nanyang music to Berlin, Prague, Forli and Ioannina to standing ovations at every leg of the tour.
As a highly sought-after conductor and music director, maestro Tsung Yeh has worked with a myriad of prestigious orchestras. He served as the Music Director of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra (SBSO) in the United States from 1988 to 2016, and was honoured with the ASCAP Award in 1995. Upon his retirement from SBSO, Tsung Yeh was presented the “Sagamore of the Wabash Award” from the Indiana State – the highest honour given by the Indiana governor. The mayor of South Bend City, Pete Buttigieg, also declared 7 May 2016 as “Tsung Yeh Day”. Maestro Tsung Yeh is currently designated as Conductor Laureate by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra Association.
He has also collaborated with reputable international orchestras including San Francisco, Tucson and New Haven Symphonies, Calgary and Rochester Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and various orchestras from China, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Russia and Czech Republic. As part of the Conductors’ Mentor Programme sponsored by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Tsung Yeh worked closely with Music Director Daniel Barenboim and Principal Guest Conductor Pierre Boulez. Tsung Yeh was also the former Music Director of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He served as Resident Conductor of Florida Orchestra and was the Principal Guest Conductor of Albany Symphony Orchestra of New York. Over the years, Tsung Yeh has made various recordings under the HUGO, Delos and Naxos labels. At the Shanghai Grand Theatre, Tsung Yeh conducted the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra at the 2020 New Year’s concert; organized and broadcasted by Tencent to over 1.2 million audiences.
Back at his alma mater, Tsung Yeh is a guest professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He has taught conducting workshops hosted by the Conductors Guild, The League of American Orchestras and the Musik Hochschule of Zurich and is also active in conducting masterclasses in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. He was also appointed the Principal Guest Conductor of the China Central Chinese Orchestra, Wuxi Chinese Orchestra, Macao Chinese Orchestra, Senior Researcher of the He Luting Chinese Music Research Institute of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and a member of the Faculty of the International Conducting Institute (ICI) in Czech Republic. In 2016, he was selected as one of ten outstanding conductors by the China Nationalities Orchestra Society. In the same year, Tsung Yeh was also appointed as the Expert of China Thousand Talents Programme.