Dane Lam


"Dane Lam was endlessly energetic and uncompromising on rhythmic detail"

The Guardian

"Lam’s confidence gave punch and brilliance to the score"

Opera Today

"Dane Lam sails through them all with aplomb‚ achieving high standards of musicianship"


"The young Australian Dane Lam’s conducting is precise and spirited‚ encouraging the company’s lively chorus to give off their best"

The Stage

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Australian conductor Dane Lam is Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of China’s Xi’an Symphony Orchestra. Acclaimed by Limelight magazine as “one of the most talented young conductors Australian has produced” and by the Manchester Evening News as “a master of rhythmic and articulatory complexities”‚ he has earned a reputation as an electrifying musician in a large and varied repertoire.

Since appearing with the Sydney Symphony at Sydney Opera House at age eighteen‚ Dane has conducted orchestras on four continents including the Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide, Canberra, Dunedin, Beijing, Suzhou, Kunming and Shandong Symphony Orchestras, Munich Radio Orchestra, Het Residentie Orkest, City of London Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata, South Bank Sinfonia, Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra and Opera Queensland, Scottish Opera, Bury Court Opera, and Opera Holland Park.

Recent and future engagements include Carl Davis’ A Christmas Carol with the Hague Residentie Orkest, Orpheus & Eurydice with Opera Queensland, Don Giovanni with Opera Australia, a return to Opera Holland Park, and performances with the Queensland, Western Australia and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, as well as a full season of concerts with the XSO with such collaborators as Martha Argerich, Alexandros Kapelis, Gidon Kremer, Angela Gheorghiu, Julian Rachlin, Barry Douglas and Narek Hakhnazaryan, and masterworks including Shostakovic’s Symphony No. 10.

In addition to the Junior Fellowship at the RNCM, Dane’s previous posts include Assistant Conductor to Kurt Masur at the Orchestre National de France, Principal Conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Associate Conductor with Opera Holland Park. He was a Young Artist with Opera Queensland and is an International Ambassador of the Royal Northern College of Music and currently divides his time between London, Xi’an, and Brisbane.

Dane was nominated as “Best Newcomer” in the International Opera Awards 2018.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Jonny Greenwood & Saint-Saëns

Sydney Symphony Orchestra (February 2021)

Lam led a beautifully paced opening, in which the first movement’s faster music slithered out of the Adagio, before unspooling a long-breathed reading of the symphony that favoured colour and sonic effect

Angus McPherson, Limelight Magazine ****½

Joyous Reminiscence

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (February 2021)

Conductor Dane Lam was poised and confident, keeping the ASO en pointe throughout this varied program

Dr Diana Carroll, ArtsHub ****

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra under conductor Dane Lam has kicked off 2021 with a finely wrought and well-executed concert.

Chris Reid, Limelight Magazine ****½

QSO Favourites, Beethoven to Bolero

Queensland Symphony Orchestra (February 2021)

Lam controlled his orchestral forces with alacrity

Suzannah Conway, ArtsHub ****

The performance begins with the overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. From the very beginning, conductor Dane Lam shined, and gave a crisp, lively sound to the headlong rush of the opening strings

Lam’s versatile conducting really pushed the players in just the right way

Paul Ballam-Cross, Limelight Magazine ****

Sidney Myer Concerts, The Faun and The Firebird

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (January 2021)

Queensland-born maestro Dane Lam coaxed a fluid and vividly evocative account of Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun from the players

Tony Way, Sydney Morning H​erald


Opera Queensland, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (October 2020)

The energetic and lively Overture from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice opened the program under Dane Lam’s precise and strong beat, while the dramatic and sombre Intermezzo from Pagliacci was sensitively played ‘with soul’ as the composer intended. There was a fine violin solo by concertmaster, Warwick Adeney, in Faust’s aria. Lam skilfully managed his orchestral resources throughout, supporting the singers solidly. A gifted speaker, he introduced program segments with detailed background information and great aplomb.

Suzannah Conway, Limelight Magazine

Brahms, Beethoven & Smetana

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, September 2020

Guest conductor Dane Lam was an inspired choice for these concerts. His vigorous, expressive style suited both the program and the occasion. He was a delight to watch as he explored every nuance in the music.

Dr Diana Carroll, ArtsHub*****

Under young Australian-Chinese conductor Dane Lam the ASO joined with Yoshimoto with the kind of intimacy one usually only hears in chamber music. In the opening works, Brahms' Academic Festival Overture and Smetana's Ma Vlast, the orchestra played with subdued but finessed voice. One was struck at first by how quietly they played, but nevertheless seemed to strike a chord with the mood of the moment. The sweet melancholy permeating both works seemed to capture what listeners were feeling: a sense of relief mingled with sadness at what has been lost. ... What a gift this concert was.

Graham Strahle, The Australian

Gluck Orpheus & Euridice Overture, Beethoven Symphony No. 6

Queensland Symphony Orchestra (November 2019)

Given that [for Opera Queensland] Lam was conducting from the pit, I didn’t get to see much of it, so it was a real pleasure to actually see his assured conducting of this charming opener.

Post-intermission, we continued with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. … For Lam to step in and conduct the piece so well is nothing short of astonishing … thank goodness for Dane Lam being in attendance!

Paul Ballan-Cross, Limelight Magazine

Gluck Orpheus & Euridice

Opera Queensland (November 2019)

Dane Lam was intensely energized.

John Carmody, Opera Magazine

Special mention goes to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Dane Lam. This 70-piece outfit were near perfect in their delivery and their sensitivity noticeable as they rendered Gluck’s beautiful score.

Jon Adams, Scenestr

Brisbane-born Dane Lam, a young and rising talent, conducted the opening performance with muscular urgency … he was the beating heart and emotional centre of a glorious work given a truly memorable staging.

Deborah Jones, The Australian

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra under Dane Lam supply the music and the score is elegant and beautiful with plenty of drama too.

Phil Brown, The Courier-Mail

Dane Lam [is] at the head of the Queensland Symphony. ... The musical narration unfolds fluidly and the attention to dynamics always proves to be alert and tasteful.

Simone Manfredini, OperaClick

Cilea: L'Arlesiana

Opera Holland Park (July 2019)

The conductor Dane Lam conjures up crisp rustic sounds from the City of London Sinfonia.

Geoff Brown, The Times

Cilea’s emotionally affecting melodrama L’Arlesiana, a favourite here, has returned with sensitive conducting by Dane Lam...

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Cilea’s vividly coloured score, superbly played by the City of London Sinfonia under the detailed direction of Dane Lam, takes this mundane tale of a broken heart to the level of grand tragedy, driving it ever onwards towards doom.

Stephen Pritchard, The Observer

in this performance the conductor Dane Lam was alert to the quicksilver orchestration and dusky, pastel colours of a score that anticipates Cilea's next and most celebrated opera, Adriana Lecouvreur...

John Allison, Opera Magazine

The performance is helped infinitely by the clear direction of Australian-Chinese conductor Dane Lam. … One aspect of Lam’s clarity is his expressive beat, but another is his vision of the score. The Act I Prelude was impeccably sculpted; Lam knows how to shape verismo phrases.

Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International

There’s a special liaison between Fflur Wyn as the besotted village girl who thinks she can cure Federico of his sickness and the beauty of the orchestral playing under Dane Lam, the revelation of the evening in his keen sense of movement and dramatic pace.

David Nice, The Arts Desk

Cilea’s score is full of melody and atmosphere, and it’s played with evident enjoyment and lightness of touch by the City of London Sinfonia under the popular young conductor Dane Lam.

Amanda Holloway, The Stage

...some superb conducting from Dane Lam.

Sam Smith, MusicOMH

…this production drives forward unstoppably and clutches all in its relentless grip, enabled by some superb verismo singing and led insightfully by conductor Dane Lam. The latter demonstrates finely tuned verismo instincts, a sure ear for a surging melodic phrase and a telling orchestral detail in equal measure, and the ability to make six desks of violins sound like sixteen when required. The prelude to Act 1 was a microcosm of such skills, as the dark muted opening relaxed into the tender romanticism of the upper strings’ lyricism, with textures so transparent that we could hear every tantalising woodwind gesture.

Claire Seymour, Opera Today

Bellini Norma, Chelsea Opera Group

Cadogan Hall (October 2018)

…the combined male forces made a vigorous and wholesome sound, and the full Chorus essayed a stirring War Hymn, invigorated by the relaxed and encouraging gestures of their conductor, Dane Lam. I was impressed by the fluid drama that Lam crafted; accelerations and changes of tempo were clearly and deftly indicated by the left-hander, and if the Orchestra of Chelsea Opera Group didn’t always follow his precise commands instantly, then Lam was untroubled and simply worked effectively to wind them up to the mark he had set. He conjured a true sense of grandeur and tragic intensity at the musical and dramatic climaxes, as well as tenderness in the intimate moments. His efforts were rewarded with solid orchestral playing.

Claire Seymour, Opera Today

…this Norma was far from a one-woman show. This became clear in the overture, as Dane Lam set the scene for a gripping drama without denying Bellini his characteristic elegance and flexibility. In the opera itself, it was notable how Lam skillfully wound up the tension through the course of the first Norma-Adalgisa duet and partnered closely with Dix in ‘Dormono entrami’; after the build-up of nervous energy in the cello passage that preceded it, Norma’s cry of ‘Ah! No! Son figli miei!’ really did come as a release.

Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine

Dane Lam conducted a generally fleet and forthright account yet was extraordinarily responsive to his singers, making sense of Bellini’s occasionally sudden and potentially jarring changes of style.

Alexander Campbell, Classical Source

Mozart Cosi fan Tutte

Opera Holland Park (May-June 2018)

What makes for a memorable summer evening is the uniform vocal strength of the cast‚ and the lithe rhythmically alert playing of the City of London Sinfonia under Dane Lam. He maintains a tight hold but with the flexibility to support the soloists in their demanding arias and ensembles.

John Johnston, BachTrack****

Dane Lam’s tempi began on the quick side‚ never unreasonably so‚ yet indicative of an approach one might too readily have taken to be partial. For‚ as the drama progressed‚ as the characters achieved greater delineation‚ so did temporal differentiation. Lam’s was a reading that knew where it was going‚ and thus could afford to take time on the way – in‚ for instance‚ a heartrending ‘Un aura amoroso’.

Mark Berry, Opera Today​​

Brisk and sharp‚ Dane Lam’s conducting steered the City of London Sinfonia away from the romantic yearning that can smother some performances. He grasps that Mozart layers this uniquely bittersweet sound-world – how does he do it? – with so much pathos‚ melancholy‚ anguish even‚ that it needs no bossy over-emphasis.

Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk****​​

Dane Lam conducted a confident and well-balanced reading of the opera. Hugely supportive of his singers – and allowing them some discreet decorations – he drew polished playing from the City of London Sinfonia, especially the all-important woodwind, which provides so much flavor in this score.

Francis Muzzu, Opera Now

Equally impressive is the playing of the City of London Sinfonia – having a great season thus far – under Dane Lam‚ whose way with Mozart is unerringly sound and who encourages the cast to indulge in some delicious vocal decoration.

George Hall, The Stage****​​

Lam‚ one of two talented new generation conductors to whom OHP has entrusted its early-season offerings (La traviata’s Matthew Kofi Waldren is the other) brings spark and sparkle to his beautifully shaped account...his handling of Mozart’s elaborate first-act finale was thrilling. He and Eleanor Dennis‚ in glorious voice‚ ensured that "Come scoglio"‚ Fiordiligi’s aching aria of constancy‚ was the evening’s high point

Mark Valencia. What’s on Stage​​

Of course‚ Mozart’s music is top-notch and continues to enthral and dazzle. Dane Lam and the City of London Sinfonia present this with crisp textures and vital playing and tempos.

Alexander Campbell, Classical Source****​​

In the pit‚ Dane Lam encouraged the City of London Sinfonia’s litheness of sound‚ with lively speeds and a sense of purpose. He kept this lively pulse throughout the opera‚ though never veering into the hard driven and I enjoyed the way he kept the music flowing‚ with some lovely individual instrumental moments from the orchestra. The comic ensembles really fizzed‚ whilst the serious elements had great poignancy.

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill****​​

By the time we have added in Dane Lam’s intricate conducting of the City of London Sinfonia‚ it is clear that Opera Holland Park‚ following hot on the heels of its success with La traviata‚ has another hit on its hands.

Sam Smith, MusicOMH****​​

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