SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF SRI LANKA

PAST PRINCIPAL CONDUCTORS

 

Lalanath de Silva

Lalanath de Silva is a composer and conductor.  He joined the Orchestra as a Flautist in 1974.  He was appointed as its Deputy Conductor in 1991 and shared concerts with Dr. Earle de Fonseka. 

He was appointed as Conductor in 2000, a position he held till he went overseas in 2002.  He is the most frequently performed Sri Lankan composer in the history of the orchestra.
 

Encouraged by his father, also a musician, his compositional talents became evident when he was 12 years old.  He studied composition and flute with Sharmini Rasaratnam.  The Colombo Sinfonietta conducted by Sarath Fernando performed his Overture based on Sri Lankan folk tunes when he was 15 years old.  He was appointed as the Conductor of the Colombo Youth Orchestra at the age of 19.  He was largely responsible for helping to re-structure the Orchestra in 1991, bringing in a Board of Governors and Trustees.
 

He was also the Founder Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra established by the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka (1992-1996).  He has guest conducted the Bombay Chamber Orchestra, the Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra and the Long Island Youth Orchestra.  His conducting career has emphasized the performance of new, experimental and innovative Sri Lankan music.  In this mode he has championed the works of numerous Sri Lankan composers from Harsha Makalanda, Sarath Fernando, Vasanatha Fernando, and Anil Mihiripenna, to Devar Surya Sena.
 

As a composer, de Silva has strived to bring together elements of western and oriental music, and a preoccupation with rhythmic expression.  Among his works, many of which have been premiered and performed by the Orchestra, are two Symphonies, a Christmas Oratorio, a Tone Poem (choir and orchestra) lamenting the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, a Mass for Earth (mixing nature sounds with choir and orchestra), a Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra (performed in India and Sri Lanka), a Jubilee Overture (written for the 25th anniversary of the Orchestra), and the Concert Overture, "The Dancers" performed for the start of the 60th anniversary celebration of the orchestra in 2017, and several chamber music works.


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