Perry So, who begins his tenure as Musical Director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra on July 1, will now lead the orchestra this coming Saturday, June 15 at 8:00 p.m. in the formation’s annual collaboration with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, ARTIDEA, which will take place on the open-air stage of the New Haven Green. The festive program involves a diverse roster of collaborators including Hillhouse Marching Band, NHSO concertmaster David Southorn, Hanan Hameen and the Juneteenth Coalition, vocalist Carly Callahan, St. Lukes Steel Band, erhu (the traditional Chinese violin) soloist Joy Lu, or the Spanish Community of Wallingford Mariachi Band and Dancers. Perry So has just launched the 2024/25 season of the Navarra Symphony, his third at the helm of the formation, while announcing his renewal as chief and artistic director starting in August 2025.

The fourth-oldest orchestra in America, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s exceptional and accessible performances and education programs reach more than 40,000 audience members and 20,000 students each year. Innovative programming and a dedication to the commission of new works inspires deeper audience engagement and meaningful artistic and educational collaborations. Through the nationally-acclaimed Harmony Fellowship program, as well as numerous award-winning education and community engagement programs, the Symphony strives to be a leader for racial equity in the arts. 

Perry So conducts the New Haven Symphony Orchestra

Perry So was born in Hong Kong in 1982, where he received early musical training in piano, organ, violin, viola and composition. He later graduated in Comparative Literature from Yale University with a specialization in 20th-century Central European music and literature. During that period he founded an academic orchestra and conducted lyrical productions with graduating students. In 2008 he studied conducting at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore under the tutelage of Maestro Gustav Meier, receiving First Prize and Special Prize at the 5th Edition of the Prokofiev International Conducting Competition in St. Petersburg. After this recognition he was named Assistant Conductor and then Associate Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and later he was part of the Dudamel fellowship program of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and since then he has conducted some of the most important American, European and Asian orchestras. Since the 2022/23 season he has been Music and Artistic Director of the Navarra Symphony and since next June he is the new Music Director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.