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Quok

Quok

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Helen Quach ( "quok"; 4 July 1940 – 31 July 2013) was a Vietnamese-born symphony conductor who founded the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney, served as the music director of the Manila Symphony Orchestra and guest conducted for symphonies around the world.

Quach was educated in New South Wales, where she studied under noted Russian conductor Nikolai Malko. She then took a conducting course from Sir John Barbirolli and Carlo Zecchi in Italy before moving to the US to serve as an assistant to Leonard Bernstein. She is considered as the first Asian female conductor hired by Bernstein in 1967. (The first female conductor hired by Bernstein was Sylvia Caduff in 1960). Helen Quach spent much of her adult life in Australia and the Philippines. Critics often commented on her toughness in spite of a diminutive appearance.

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