Described as “a thoughtful musician, extremely well prepared and meticulous in his approach” by the late Bernard Haitink, Alvin Ho, native of Hong Kong, is currently the Leverhulme Conducting Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Conductor at the Indiana Opera and Ballet Theatre from 2017 to 2020, during which he also earned a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
He has worked internationally with orchestras including Scottish Chamber Orchestra (UK), Royal Scottish National Orchestra (UK), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (UK), Jena Philharmonic (Germany), Luzern Festival Strings (Switzerland), Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini (Italy), Gstaad Menuhin Festival Orchestra (Switzerland), MÁV Symphony Orchestra (Budapest), North Czech Philharmonic Teplice (Czech), Das Kritische Orchestra Berlin (Germany), and Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (USA).
Ho was previously named Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Salzburg Festival Karajan Conducting Fellow and Bruno Walter Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival. He was also a semi-finalist in the Donetella Flick London Symphony Orchestra Conducting Competition, and one of eight young conductors invited to Bernard Haitink’s masterclass at the 2018 Lucerne Easter Festival. He also enjoys a close relationship with Riccardo Muti, whom selected him as a student in 2018 and regularly invites him to observe his rehearsals with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Beyond the symphonic podium, Ho has also worked extensively on the operatic stage. In March 2022, Ho was assistant conductor in the world premiere of the chamber orchestra version of Jonathan Dove's Flight in Glasgow, Scotland; In Autumn 2019 he was assistant conductor in Wagner’s Parsifal at Indiana Opera, and in 2018 conducted Verdi’s Macbeth in concert form at the Ravenna Festival, under the mentorship of Riccardo Muti. Ho has worked with renowned singers including Riccardo Zanellato, Kristinn Sigmundsson, Mark Delavan and Vittoria Yeo. He has also conducted ballet performances at Indiana Ballet Theater.
Ho enjoys a close working relationship with Red Note Contemporary Music Ensemble, a leader of the genre in the UK. Together they have performed a diverse palette of contemporary works such as Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire, Ligeti Kammerkonzert, John Adams Shaker Loops and Gérard Grisey Vortex Temporum. Previously, Ho has presented world premieres in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (US) and conducted Ari Fisher's tv commercial score for Indiana University, a video that has been seen on major US national news channels.
As a keen educator, he served as Assistant Conductor to Ludovic Morlot for the Carnegie Hall debut and the China tour of the National Youth Orchestra of China in 2017. Ho also guest conducted the Empire State Youth Orchestra (US), the largest of its kind in the country, and worked with other young musicians from Wester Illinois University (IL, USA), Wabash Valley Youth Orchestra (IN, USA) and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (UK). He also founded the Chinese University of Hong Kong Student Orchestra that brings opportunities for non-music major students to play and listen to classical symphonic music. The ensemble still runs to this day and makes significant impact on the community.
Ho studied primarily with Arthur Fagen, Riccardo Muti and Bernard Haitink. He has also worked additionally with Garry Walker, Martyn Brabbins, Nicolás Pasquet and Neeme Järvi.
"I was taken with his very convincing interpretation and his way of his finding "his" sound."
- Paul Nadler, Conductor, Metropolitan Opera
"Alvin communicates strong ideas and intense musicality everytime he steps on the podium"
- David Effron, professor emeritus, Indiana Jacobs School of Music