Increasing the young musicians' thirst and love for music is the core of my conducting philosophy. I plan to achieve this through engaging rehearsal techniques, encouraging musical expression, sensitive listening to one another, and advocating a team-first mentality within the orchestras. My goal is for the musicians to leave each rehearsal rejuvenated week in and week out, and in the long run, become classical music ambassadors of the future.
Dr. Yun Song Tay
Music Director, Conductor of Senior Symphony and Camilla Kolchinsky Orchestra
Praised by the Polish Radio presenter Adam Rozlach as a “cheerful, vibrant and musically active conductor”, and recognized for his “very natural feel for conducting”, Yun Song Tay has guest conducted orchestras across Asia, Europe and North America. Recently appointed as the Music Director of the Golden State Youth Orchestra in 2022, Yun Song conducts the Senior Symphony and Camilla Kolchinsky Orchestra.
He previously served as the Assistant Conductor for Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras from 2020-21 and Arizona State University Orchestra from 2018-2021. During his time in the valley, he also led the Phoenix Symphony in their Education Concert Series. Other ensembles he has conducted during his vibrant career include Orchestra de Camera Fiorentina, Berlin Sinfonietta, European Youth Wind Orchestra, Dutch Royal Guards Band, Cleveland Heights Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Collective (Singapore), MusicaNova Orchestra, and the US Army Field Band. A strong advocate for contemporary music, Yun Song has also conducted the Cleveland Institute of Music New Music Ensemble in multiple performances.
Yun Song is the recipient of the Sim Hay Lum Music Scholarship and has received grants from the National Arts Council of Singapore. He was a semifinalist of 2014 Wind Band Conducting Competition in Jarvenpaa and a quarter-finalist in the 2017 Fitelburg Orchestral Conducting Competition. He was also a finalist in the Houston Symphony Assistant Conductor search in 2019 and was selected as a Reynolds Conducting Institute fellow in 2021.
Yun Song received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from Arizona State University under Dr. Jeffery Meyer. He received his Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at Cleveland Institute of Music and Bachelor’s degree in Wind Conducting at Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where his conducting mentors included Carl Topilow and Danny Oosterman. He has also conducted in masterclasses and lessons for esteemed conductors such as Leonid Korchmar, Lutz Kohler, Jahja Ling, JoAnn Falletta, Tito Muñoz, Carl St.Clair, Giancarlo Guerrero and Larry Rachleff.
Born and raised in Singapore, Yun Song began his musical journey on the piano and flute. He won the position of principal flautist with the Singapore National Youth Orchestra from 2007 to 2009 and received a top prize at the Singapore Flute Festival Competition in 2009. Outside of music, Yun Song enjoys learning languages. He speaks, in order of fluency, English, Mandarin Chinese, Dutch, Korean, Teochew, and has a working knowledge in German, Italian and French.