The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Q&A with Conductor of Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Shou-Ling Wu


The Blue and Gold interviewed Shou-Ling Wu about her experience as a conductor of Taipei Symphony Orchestra.
Why did you decide to come perform for TAS?
Because the Taipei Symphony Orchestra is a government subsidized orchestra, our main goal is to benefit our community as a whole. We have plans, besides performing in concert halls, to perform in parks, the neighborhood, and anywhere with people who generally never think about buying a ticket to a classical music concert. We visit schools as well because we hope to help the younger generation cultivate an appreciation for classical music.
What is the most difficult part of being a conductor? 
Handling people. As a conductor, you have to find the balance between maintaining authority over the musicians and giving them the liberty to express themselves through music. Musicians also naturally have a rebellious streak. They have pride in their profession because they spent countless hours practicing to make it to the professional level. Having them to trust and listen to the conductor is essential, but also very difficult.
How did you decide that you wanted to become a conductor? 
It was really ridiculous. When I was young, I wanted to be a cellist. One day, when I was in junior high school, the school needed someone to conduct the students to sing the national anthem. Because the music teacher knew I was a good musician, he recommended me and another student to perform in front of the principal. Since the principal didn’t know much about conducting, he just picked the taller student, which was me. I had to conduct the national anthem every single day. Though I didn’t learn much about conducting from this experience, I did learn how to stand in front of the whole school, and this was my first step towards becoming a conductor.

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