The Strings Department
The Conservatory’s strings programme has the reputation of being one of the best in the world with an all-year calendar of high quality performances through recitals, chamber music and orchestral concerts, complimented with frequent opportunities for masterclasses with top visiting artists. Students have weekly individual lessons and studio classes with faculty members, and our focus is on the individual’s performance training with a supporting curriculum of solo studies, chamber music and ensemble activity.
Performance is central to the training programme and the Conservatory curates a comprehensive range of performances in different venues, including the Conservatory Concert Hall, Esplanade Concert Hall and the Victoria Concert Hall. Students also reach out to the community through regular performances in museums and hospitals. In addition to these performances presented in Singapore, our students have also been regularly accepted in major festivals and competitions around the world.
Solo studies ( 8 semesters totally 52 MCs)
Orchestra (3 semesters, 12 MCs)
Chamber Music (3 semesters, 12 MCs)
OpusNovus (1 semester, 4 MCs)
String Pedagogy (1 semester, 4 MCs)
Free Choice (at least 4 MCs)
Throughout the undergraduate programme, all strings students have the opportunity to perform in several large ensemble contexts across the four years of their study, exploring a range of orchestral repertoire from the earliest to 21st century music. While students can be called for large ensemble activity throughout their time at the Conservatory, they must complete three more intensive modules with the option, should orchestra be anticipated as their primary focus, for enrolment in a further two advanced modules. In addition, optional orchestral excerpts classes deepen the knowledge of individual instrumental performance in large ensembles, preparing students for professional orchestra auditions. Further modules engage students in opportunities to explore the rich range of chamber music, both for strings alone and in combination with other instruments or with voice. In total, students must complete a minimum of three semesters of chamber music with the option to take a further two modules, by choice, at advanced level.
String students on the Master’s programme follow four semesters of solo studies alongside enrolment in small and large ensembles. Recitals are expected in the second and fourth semesters but otherwise the core requirements are identical in each semester. Additionally, Master’s students can follow the Orchestral Excerpts and String Pedagogy classes should they wish.
Key Visiting Artists
Beyond our student and faculty activity, every semester involves visits, and often performances, by world renowned string players, including such personalities as Midori Goto, Leonidas Kavakos, Pierre Amoyal, Renaud Capucon, Vadim Repin, Nabuko Imai, Steven Isserlis, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Misha Maisky, and such ensembles as the Takacs, Hagen, Juilliard, Miro and Endellion Quartets, as well as Gabor Takacs-Nagy and former members of the Tokyo Quartet. Amongst some of the world’s great pedagogues who visit regularly are Tong Weidong (Central Conservatory, Beijing), and David Takeno (Eugene Ysaye Professor, Guildhall), amongst others.
The Conservatory is particularly grateful to the late Mr Rin Kei Mei and Mrs Rin Kei Mei for their unparalleled gift of access to string instruments for almost all of the Conservatory’s violinists, violists and cellists. Since the inception of the Conservatory, a total of over 200 Concervatory students have benefitted from their support. Currently 69 students play on instruments from the collection. Their gift is arguably unique in the world in the history of music education. Their extraordinary generosity and passion has led also Singapore being able to establish to the Singapore International Violin Competition in 2015.