YST Young Composers' Academy


The Young Composers' Academy aims to inspire a new generation of composers in Singapore by supporting talented, young musicians at the Secondary and Junior College levels with university-level mentoring. Each year, up to ten young composers aged 15–21 based in Singapore schools are selected to participate in the academy.

The third annual YST Young Composers’ Academy will take place from 12 January to 9 March 2019 in Singapore.

Participants benefit from the following:

  • A series of workshops focused on contemporary compositional techniques, contemporary instrumental techniques, and important works of modern music;

  • Individual lessons with members of YST's composition faculty;

  • A world premiere performance of their new work by members of contemporary music ensembles Wu Xian and/or OpusNovus;

  • A professional studio-quality recording of their work for study and promotional purposes.

Learn more about the Academy and how to apply below.



Assoc Prof Peter Edwards - Assistant Dean, Composition and Contemporary Music

Assoc Prof Ho Chee Kong - Associate Professor, Composition

Dr Chen Zhangyi - Assistant Professor, Composition

Dr Nick Omiccioli - Assistant Professor, Composition

Adeline Wong - Lecturer, Composition


Wu Xian is a Singaporean chamber music ensemble dedicated to developing captivating programmes that draw connections between music of the past and present. Depending on the characters used in Chinese, Wu Xian can mean five lines (a reference to the traditional music staff), wireless or no lines (referencing contemporary work that challenges musical traditions), or unlimited. Members of Wu Xian are active as soloists, chamber musicians, and orchestral performers with wide ranging musical interests. Wu Xian has performed at the Performers(') Present conference at the YST Conservatory in 2016, and at the School of the Arts (SOTA), Singapore.

OpusNovus is a versatile contemporary music ensemble comprised of musicians from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, NUS. Its programmes often feature works by internationally-renowned composers, and lesser known gems of the contemporary repertoire. OpusNovus also seeks to promote music by composers based in Singapore and around the region, as well as works by conservatory students, faculty and alumni.

The ensemble has collaborated with guest artists and ensembles such as Steven Schick, Ensemble Multilaterale, Trio Surplus, Ensemble Modern, and Wu Xian. OpusNovus is a resident ensemble for the Young Composers' Academy.


Sessions will take place on select Saturdays from January to March, giving the participants time to reflect on their learning and develop their new compositions. Participants are expected to attend all sessions.

Session I:

  • Introduction to Important Contemporary Works Part 1
  • Introduction to Instrumental Techniques

Session II:

  • Introduction to Important Contemporary Works Part 2
  • One-to-One Consultation Session 1

Session III:

  • Introduction to Important Contemporary Works Part 3
  • One-to-One Consultation Session 2

Session IV:

  • Dress rehearsals with the ensembles and Final Public Performances


First, complete the application form here.

Then, email an accessible online link (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc) to your portfolio to ystprojects@nus.edu.sg.

  • Include 2 – 3 of your most interesting and original compositions. Each work should include a score in PDF and a recording in MP3 format. Recordings may be MIDI renderings from notation software or a DAW, but live performances are preferred.

The application period is 1 October to 18 November 2018, 11.59pm. Selected participants will be notified by 15 December 2018. The course fee for selected participants is S$107 (incl. GST). Previous participants of YCA are also welcome to apply.


Have a query about YCA? Contact us via the button below.


We seek to nurture and create pathways for future talents in composition. Learn more about the YST Composition programme here.



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