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 totalling 52 modular credits)
Orchestra (8 modular credits)
Chamber Music (3 semesters totalling 12 modular credits)
OpusNovus* (1 semester totalling 4 modular credits)
String Pedagogy (1 semester totalling 4 modular credits)
Free Choice (at least 4 modular credits)
* OpusNovus is a YST contemporary music ensemble dedicated to performing new repertoire.
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.
Apart from rigorous solo studies, students receive strong training in ensemble music-making, with large ensemble activity throughout their time at YST, three intensive modules, and the option for more intensive modules should they foresee orchestral performance being their primary focus.
In addition, optional orchestral excerpts classes prepare students for professional orchestra auditions by deepening their knowledge regarding large ensemble performance.
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 take four semesters of solo studies alongside enrolment in small and large ensembles. They typically do recitals in the second and fourth semesters. Additionally, Master’s students can take the Orchestral Excerpts and String Pedagogy classes according to their interest.
Key Visiting Artists
Beyond our student and faculty activity, every semester involves visits and often performances by world renowned string players. Past visiting artists have included:
- Midori Goto
- Leonidas Kavakos
- Pierre Amoyal
- Renaud Capucon
- Vadim Repin
- Nabuko Imai
- Steven Isserlis
- Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi
- Tong Weidong
- David Takeno
- Gabor Takacs-Nagy
In addition, we have hosted ensembles including the Takacs, Hagen, Juilliard, Miro and Endellion Quartets, as well as former members of the Tokyo Quartet.
The Conservatory is particularly grateful to the late Mr 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 YST 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.