The Hong Kong Chinese conductor, Ken Lam, studied conducting with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar at Peabody Conservatory (Class of 2009), David Zinman and Murry Sidlin at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute. He read economics at St. John's College, Cambridge University (Class of 1992) and was an attorney specializing in international finance for ten years before becoming a conductor.
Winner of the 2011 Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s International Conducting Competition and a featured conductor in the League of American Orchestra's 2009 Bruno Walter National Conductors Preview with the Nashville Symphony, Ken Lam made his USA professional debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in June 2008 as one of four conductors at the invitation of Leonard Slatkin. In recent seasons he has led performances with the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Illinois Symphony and Meridian Symphony, as well as the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Guiyang Symphony and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.
A keen operatic conductor Ken Lam has led numerous productions of the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center and was Assistant Conductor at Cincinnati Opera, Baltimore Lyric Opera and at the Castleton Festival in Virginia. In recent seasons, he led critically acclaimed productions at the Spoleto Festival USA, Lincoln Center Festival and at the Luminato Festival in Canada. His performance run of Massenet's Manon at the Peabody Conservatory was hailed by the Baltimore Sun as a top ten classical event in the Washington D.C/Baltimore area in 2010.
Ken Lam was appointed Music Director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in 2014 and began his first full season with the orchestra in September 2015. He also holds the posts of Resident Conductor of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina (2009-Present), Artistic Director of Hong Kong Voices and Conductor Laureate of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras (May 2016-Present). Previous positions have included posts as Associate Conductor for Education of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (2012-2016), Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (September 2008-August 2011) and Principal Conductor of the Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra (May 2001-August 2008).
Ken Lam is the recipient of the 2015 Johns Hopkins University Global Achievement Award, given to alumni who exemplify the university’s tradition of excellence and who have brought credit to the university and their profession in the international arena through their professional achievements. He currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina.