Conductor (Music) /Former Tourism Ambassador Malaysia to Germany

Short Biography

DATO’ SERI OOI CHEAN SEE is among the few women in the classical music world as a conductor of international orchestras. She was the founding Resident Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998, a position she held until 2006.

Born in Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Ooi started studying the piano and violin at an early age.

After graduating from the Folkwang Conservatorium of MusicEssen as a concert pianist she studied conducting with Prof. Volker Wangenheim at the Cologne Conservatorium of Music.

She gained invaluable experience with Prof. Heribert Beissel and Dr. Dennis Russell Davies at the beginning of her career as a conductor.

In 1991, she won First Prize at the International Conductors Competition in both Halle and Hamm. She was subsequently invited to conduct the Klassishe Philharmonie Bonn, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Bremen State Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle State Philharmonic Orchestra and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.

Her conducting engagements have included concerts with the Bruckner Orchestra Austria, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and Southwest German Chamber Orchestra; collaborations with the State Opera of Dresden, Germany, in Salvadore de Bahia, Brazil; guest conducting engagements with the Czech Virtuosi at the Easter Festival of Sacred Music in the Czech Republic. She also toured Slovenia with the Chur Colnische Choir, which won the World Choir Award in Sydney under Datuk Ooi’s musical directorship.

Dato’ Seri Ooi has worked extensively with youth orchestras such as the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, Berlin Youth String Orchestra and the State Youth Symphony Orchestras of Halle and Saarland.

She has held numerous workshops in Penang with the Festival Youth Orchestra and Penang Music Camps in collaboration with the German Music Council and visiting Orchestras and Choir from Germany. In recognition of her contributions to the music world and continuous efforts to bridge different cultures through music, she became the first Malaysian woman to be awarded the Federal Cross of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany in 2003.

Dato’ Seri Ooi was awarded the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship in 2000, and visited the USA on the Fellowship Programme, together with personalities selected from around the world for excellence in their profession and potential for advanced leadership.

She served as Malaysian Ambassador for Tourism/Culture between the years 2009- 2013, and continues to promote tourism and culture across the globe.

In 2013, she was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Arts at the World Chinese Economic Forum, and is currently sits on the World Advisory Council of the World Chinese Economic Summit.