The artistic experiences that we undergo and that we take our audiences through;
the process that goes behind our explorations, and the things we learn from them.
From 24 to 30 June 2019, 12 YST students attended the Chofu International Music Festival in Japan. Led by Festival Director Masato Suzuki, the festival orchestra brought together professional musicians from top Japanese orchestras, student musicians from Japanese high schools and conservatories, as well as YST students to play under the batons of conductors Masaaki Suzuki and Simone Menezes.
This season, we explore the idea of telling stories in our performances, artistic research initiatives, and programmes at large.
In celebration of the graduating class of 2019, Charting Pathways captured the musical journeys and aspirations of seven students in a series of stories. We are proud to have witnessed our students’ growth over the years, and delighted to have been on the journey together! Read the full stories here.
Sulwyn Lok (BMus ‘19, Recording Arts & Sciences) tells us more about the diverse facets of his artistic identity across production, composition and arrangement, performance, leadership and community engagement.
Lin Xiangning (BMus ‘19, Piano) reflects on her journey from the YST Young Artist Programme through to graduate studies, and the importance of context in her musical growth and education journey.
Maggie Lu Pei Yun (BMus ’19, Voice) shares about being on the performance stage as well as delving into the production work behind every concert, and how these have enriched her undergraduate experience.
Teo Shao Ming (BMus ‘19, Flute) tells us how connecting with different musical approaches and communities has helped him make the most of his journey.
Mindy Chang (BMus ‘19, Horn) shares on how trust from her mentors empowered her to take ownership of her music-making, and the importance of chamber music in her artistic identity.
From 11 to 26 May, YST held the 2019 Bali Excursion and Study Tour, an intensive two-week trip where students studied traditional Indonesian music and dance and immersed in local culture, culminating in a final performance presented at Bunutan Village, Ubud.
YST Strings faculty Assoc Profs Zuo jun and Zhang Manchin and Woodwinds faculty Assoc Prof Zhang Jin Min and Artist Faculty Ma Yue took part in the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra’s tenth concert season, playing in chamber music concerts that delighted audiences and celebrated collaborations between the two organisations. Read more.
Congratulations to our YST Conservatory Orchestra and student soloists, Principal Conductor Jason Lai, Head of Strings Prof Qian Zhou and Composition faculty member Asst Prof Chen Zhangyi, for their passionate music-making in Intersections (9 April in Singapore, and 13 April in Seoul)! The pair of concerts brought to a full circle the partnership between YST Conservatory and the Korea National University of Arts, which we are thankful for. Read more.
From 3-8 March, four YST students – Benny Lim Wei Cheah (Year 3, Clarinet), Kong Xianlong (Year 4, Violin), Pei Yi-Ting (Year 3, Violin) and Qiu Sheng (Year 4, Trumpet) – worked with the Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Following four days of intensive collaborative rehearsal, they performed in SOA’s fifth anniversary concert, held in the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall.
YST Conservatory alumni composers were heard loud and clear in this year’s Singapore Youth Festival (SYF). Three of our alumni – Diana Soh (Composition, ’07), Phang Kok Jun (Composition, ’15) and Lee Jinjun (Trumpet, ’16) – were commissioned by the Ministry of Education to write the set pieces for the Choir, Chinese Orchestra, and Concert Band Arts Presentations respectively. We caught up with them to find out more about their works.
From 25 January to 2 February 2019, four Audio Arts & Sciences (AAS) students – David Chew, Johann Tan Kay Ann, Teng Wye Shin (all Year 3), and Aw Wei Zheng (Year 4) – received Conservatory support to travel to the Netherlands. They attended an intense six-day course on Sound Systems Design and Optimisation taught by Merlijn van Veen, an opportunity kindly offered by our partner school, Royal Conservatoire of the Hague.
Five YST students took part in the 3rd Youth Music Culture Guangdong held in Guangzhou. Over the nine-day orchestral festival with chamber music and improvisational Silk Road bands as its driving force, they learned creativity and flexibility in an ensemble setting and performed works from Western and Eastern traditions, ranging from classical masterpieces to musical improvisations.
From 24-30 September 2018, eight YST students embarked on a journey of musical sharing across Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Miri, Malaysia. Initiated by Year 3 Trumpet student Lau Hui Ping, the project sought to engage students with professional music instruction, contribute to teaching practices in the community, and hone pedagogical skills for YST students.
Our central theme for this season is Evolutions & Revolutions, inspired by important transformations and shifts within the Conservatory, within Singapore with its bicentennial commemoration, and in history and the artistic process at large.
The weekend of 7 to 9 September 2018 was a rich celebration of wind and brass music at YST, with the Singapore Band Clinic, YST Double Reed Day 2018, and the YST Wind Consort in concert at Bandscendence. These events celebrate and continue the tradition of wind band music in Singapore, which began in the early 19th century and has seen an estimated 20,000 students benefiting from wind music education in the past 25 years.
In January this year, YST students and alumni Lo Sheng Hong (NUS Mechanical Engineering ’18, YST Second Major in RAS), Aw Wei Zheng, Leon Teo, Sulwyn Lok, Daniel Tan, Eugene Koo (all BMus Year 4, RAS) and Emilea Teo (BMus Year 3, RAS) set up their own audio company, Poco Productions. We caught up with Sulwyn, Sheng Hong and Wei Zheng from the team on what’s been going on!
YST Composition teaching assistant and alumnus Dr Chow Jun Yan was selected to take part in the ASEAN Youth Ensemble Creation Project, organised by the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Thailand. Held from 24 – 31 August 2018, the project aimed to create dialogues between ASEAN country traditions through music. Jun Yan presented his composition, Nostalgic Portrait for erhu, flute and percussion, at the finale concert.
At YST, we support our students as they go places. In the last academic year, nine students took part in semester-long exchange programmes with our partner schools, and four students have been on exchange this semester. 110 students benefitted from the Student Artistic Development Fund which enabled them to take part in festivals, competitions and projects overseas last year. Read about Lin Xiangning’s (Year 4, Piano) experience here.
Tan Tzu Kuang (BMus Year 4, Piano) was named winner of the 2018 Concerto Competition adjudicated by Maestro Hans Graf, with grand finalists Wang Yuqi (BMus Year 3, Cello) and Shayna Yap (BMus Year 3, Piano). We sat down with Tzu Kuang in the midst of an action-packed senior year, to hear about his musical inspirations, approach to practising, adventures in musical and jazz singing, and future plans.
Homecoming is usually a time of joy and warmth, but when it involves leading an orchestra before an audience of thousands at a UNESCO World Heritage Site — it’s nothing short of a jamboree. YST alumnus conductor Kahchun Wong (‘11) returns to Singapore in Beethoven im Garten, following a dizzying range of achievements abroad.
YST opened the 2018/19 academic year on a very special note, celebrating its 15th anniversary and partnership with the Peabody Institute in a gala concert on 21 August. The gala also kick-started Voyage, a week-long music festival that saw more than 70 YST graduates curating and presenting concerts and panel discussions.
This season, we explore the central theme Music & Motion, with a particular focus on music with a dimension of dance. Join us on the floor in the many different dances taking place at YST.
In celebration of the graduating class of 2018, we captured stories from nine students in our Charting Pathways series. We look forward to hearing the vibrant harmonies they will create! Read the full stories here.
Steven Tanus (BMus '18, Piano) shares on his YST experience which was rich with learning, personal growth and a sense of supportive community.
Rachel Ho (BMus ‘18, Flute) on how she discovered and grew her passion for educating the next generation of musicians, and engaging the communities around her.
Jingyun Ng (BMus '18, Voice, Soprano) catches us up on the whirlwind of diverse artistic endeavours that she has immersed herself in during her time at YST, and will continue to engage in.
Mervin Wong (BMus '18, Viola) reflects on the process through which he developed his artistic identity, expanding his musical practice as a violist to embrace multidisciplinary methods and create holistic experiences for his audiences.