Musical Director- Chong Lim AM

Chong Lim AM , best known as John Farnham’s long-time Musical Director, and Musical Director of Dancing with The Stars for 15 seasons, is one of Australia’s most respected Musical Directors, producers and composers. He has also been Musical Director for TV shows such as It Takes Two, Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, and The Logie Awards as well as Musical director for Kylie Minogue and Olivia Newton-John. He scored a nomination as Best Musical Director for the 2017 Helpmann Awards and an ARIA nomination for Best Record Producer in 2012. He was made a Member of the Order Of Australia (AM) in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours for significant service to the performing arts as a musician, composer, producer and musical director, and to the community.

His compositions have been performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of The Sydney 2000 Olympics; The 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester, England; The 2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne; The 2006 Asian Games, Doha, Qatar ; The 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver, Canada; The Asian Football Cup 2015; The 2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow; The 2021 Commonwealth Games Birmingham, The AFL Grand Final 2020, 2021, 2022, The Melbourne Cup 2021The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015; Citrawarna Celebrations 2007 to 2009 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; the cross cultural Bali Agung 2010, Bali, Indonesia; “Pearl Of The South Seas” Jakarta Aquarium, Indonesia,; Gulf Air in Bahrain, Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi, Qantas in Sydney; “The Flying Orchestra” for the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Crown Casino Atrium, Melbourne, Australia. His composition for the Crown Casino Atrium is still played to this day, 18 years after its premiere performance.

He has been Musical Director for the AFL Grand Final Pre-Game and Half-Time entertainment from 2020 to 2022, and has been responsible for turning around the quality of the musical performances, with acts as diverse as Birds Of Tokyo, Shephard, DMAs , Busby Marou, Electric Fields, Thelma Plum, Baker Boy, Eskimo Joe, Wolfmother, The Temper Trap, The Goanna Band, Emma Donovan, Christine Anu, William Barton, Colin Hay, John Butler, The Waifs, WA Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Robbie Williams.
As a record producer, Chong has been at the helm of many multi-platinum CDs and singles for John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John, Kylie Minogue, Kate Ceberano, David Hobson, Nikki Webster, Tommy Emmanuel, David Campbell, , Mark Vincent, Marina Prior, Teddy Tahu-Rhodes, Sarah McKenzie, Lisa McCune, Rachael Beck, Jack Vidgen, Melinda Schneider, Anthony Callea and Human Nature, His symphonic arrangement of “In My Room” can also be heard in the Beach Boys album with The Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, London. In 2001, he produced the divisive platinum hit single “Strawberry Kisses” for Nikki Webster, which reached No 2 on the ARIA singles charts for 7 consecutive weeks. It was also an international hit.
In 2015, he was involved in 3 number one albums in 3 different categories, at the same time: John Farnham & Olivia-Newton-John “Two Strong Hearts” (co-produced with Ross Fraser) on the ARIA Album Charts; David Hobson, Teddy Tahu-Rhodes, Lisa McCune, Greta Bradman “From Broadway to La Scala” on the ARIA Classical Charts, and Wouter Kellerman “Love Language” on the Billboard World Music Charts.
“Love Language” had also been nominated for a Grammy Award for 2016, Wouter and Chong, having won the coveted Grammy award in 2015. The Farnham/ Newton-John DVD also made it to the No 1 spot on the ARIA DVD Charts. In 2016, he produced the No 1 ARIA Album for Farnham and Newton-John – “Friends for Christmas”.
In Dec 2018, 3 CDs produced by Chong were in the Top 5 ARIA Australian Artiste Charts – No 1 for John Farnham Olivia Newton-John – “Friends For Christmas” ; No.2 for David Campbell – “Baby It’s Christmas” , and No. 4 for Mark Vincent – “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.

Chong has also led bands and arranged for the likes of Barry Gibb, Sir George Martin, Boz Scaggs, The Beach Boys, Jermaine Jackson, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Joan Osborne, Billy Ocean, Mel C and Tina Arena. He has performed live on concert platforms and live television with artistes as diverse as Michael Buble, Tom Jones, Jennifer Hudson, James Blunt, Mick Hucknall (Simply Red), Kellie Underwood, Ray Charles, Ronan Keating, Guy Sebastian, Sara Bareilles, Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Hudson, Bryan McFadden , Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins, Patrizio Buane, Jessica Mauboy, Isaac Hayes, Dannii Minogue, Delta Goodrem and Jimmy Barnes. One of the highlights of his career was performing with Coldplay and John Farnham, at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He recently performed with Robbie Williams at Rod Laver Arena Melbourne and has appeared in the Robbie bio-pic “Better Man”. He has also just performed with Robbie Williams in the universally acclaimed 2022 AFL Grand Final Pre-Game entertainment at the MCG.
As Musical Director, he was at the helm of the long-running television series Dancing With the Stars for 15 seasons , and has also led bands on It Takes Two, Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, In Melbourne Tonight, The Logie Awards, Good Friday Appeal and the AACTA Awards. as well as concert tours “The Main Event”, “Grease The Arena Spectacle”, “The Motown Concert” featuring The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Miracles, Martha Reeves and Mary Wilson, “Tour of Duty” for Australian troops in East Timor, 2006 Sydney New Year’s Eve Fireworks display and was the founding Musical Director and supervisor for “Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage”, and Jimmy Chi’s “Bran Nue Dae”. He has also musical directed “The British Invasion 2014” in Napier, New Zealand with the Auckland Philarmonic Orchestra featuring Billy Ocean, Ronan Keating, Mel C, Sharon Corr and Leo Sayer. He was also Musical Director of the critically acclaimed “Rolling Thunder Vietnam ” which has had three Australia tours, , and The Choir Of Man for the 2014 Darwin Festival. He was also recently, Musical Director for the “Disney In Concert Under The Stars” touring nationally, and the Elvis “The Wonder Of You” Tour 2017, an Elvis Presley Enterprises project.
He is also responsible for the original Qantas ad version of the iconic “I Still Call Australia Home” which has continued to this day. He has also been the Musical Director
for the “Victorian Schools Spectacular” for the last 12 years (2011-2023) where over 2000 high school students are nurtured and mentored to become professional musicians, dancers and performers, whose past luminaries include Vanessa Amorosi and The Voice winner Harrison Craig.