Singaporean conductor up for a Grammy
SINGAPOREAN conductor Darrell Ang's first CD recording has been nominated for a Grammy Award for best orchestral performance.
Zhou Long & Chen Yi: Symphony "Humen 1839", released by music label Naxos in May this year, features Ang, 36, leading the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
The Straits Times understands that this is the second time a Singaporean has received a Grammy nod. In 2012, Arun Shenoy's Spanish flamenco-inspired album, Rumbadoodle, was nominated for best pop instrumental album but lost out to American trumpeter Chris Botti.
Ang's album and its Asia-Pacific flavour stand out among the four other contenders.
They include veteran Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for Bruckner's Symphony No. 4; Latvia's Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra for Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow - Symphony No. 10; Uruguay-born Carlos Kalmar and The Oregon Symphony for Spirit Of The American Range and France's Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony for Dutilleux: Metaboles; L'Arbre Des Songes; Symphony No. 2, Le Double.
Ang, who is performing this month in Munich, Germany, shared the nomination on his Facebook page with the words: "My first Grammy nomination! Beginner's luck: this also happens to be my very first CD recording..."
It is his first Naxos recording of purely symphonic work. Last year, he and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra recorded Giacomo Meyerbeer's French operas for the label.
The title track of the CD is co-composed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Zhou and his China-born contemporary Chen Yi, both 62. It is the composers' only collaborative work and commemorates the public burning of more than 1,000 tonnes of opium in June 1839 in Humen, Guangdong, an act which led British opium traders to start the first Opium War with China.
Until 2013, Ang was young associate conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. He is also a regular guest with well-known ensembles such as the London Philharmonic, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin and Vienna Chamber Orchestra.
Since 2012, he has been music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne in north-west France.
The Grammy ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on Feb 15 next year and broadcast by CBS.