Music conductor Adrian Tan dies at 44 from cardiac arrest in his sleep

·2-min read
Adrian Tan dies at 44 from cardiac arrest in his sleep (Adrian Tan/ Facebook)
Adrian Tan dies at 44 from cardiac arrest in his sleep (Adrian Tan/ Facebook)

Singapore-based music conductor Adrian Tan died of a cardiac arrest on Monday at the age of 44.

Tan was the music director of the Singapore Wind Symphony and the Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra where he led the bands and orchestras at professional level.

His sudden passing came as a shock to numerous individuals who knew him.

Jazz pianist Jeremy Monteiro paid tribute to the artist by saying: “The music director family is not a very big family and we feel the loss very keenly. He’s (Tan) always very hands-on.”

Conductor Adrian Chiang, whom Tan co-founded the Conductors Collegium Asia earlier this year, disclosed that Tan was supposed to direct their first training session over Zoom on the night he died.

The class was supposed to start at 7.30pm local time, but the musician did not show up.

“I thought he had fallen asleep and I wanted to scold him for making everyone wait for him,” said Chiang. “He was always full of energy and a very enjoyable person to talk to. He always seemed very healthy, so I was wondering what happened.”

Tan was a National University of Singapore graduate who majored in theatre studies. He also bagged a scholarship from the National Arts Council to pursue his postgraduate degree abroad.

After achieving a Masters in Music Studies (Conducting) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he served many directorships in multiple orchestras in the Asia-Pacific region.

“As a conductor, he respected and wanted to showcase the works of Singaporean composers,” said Terence Ho, who is Singapore Chinese Orchestra’s executive director.

Adding: “He was active in terms of providing views on how the National Arts Council and the Government can help freelancers. He was very forward-looking, always talking about possibilities, collaboration, and what more can be done for the music scene.”

Tan is survived by his mother, with whom he lived.

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