SIFA 2021

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In Conversation: The Age of Anxiety - Music Making for the Moment

Churen Li, Derek Koh, Gerald Lim and Jonathan Shin (Singapore)

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  • 20 May 2021
  • Talk
  • Free

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backBack to Archives

In Conversation: The Age of Anxiety - Music Making for the Moment

Churen Li, Derek Koh, Gerald Lim and Jonathan Shin (Singapore)

In this panel discussion, artists featured in the Compassion chamber music series discuss what it means to make music that responds to the fears and anxieties of the present. How can classical and contemporary music be a powerful catharsis for coming together to process these anxieties and how can they be transfigured to find a way forward for the future. Join pianists Churen Li and Jonathan Shin, keyboardist Gerald Lim and percussionist Derek Koh as they explore music-making for the now. 

About the Musicians

Derek - Touted as “One of the most promising musicians of his generation” (The Straits Times), Derek Koh’s sensitive musical voice and dynamism has led him to work with art forms of all genres and mediums, from western and Chinese classical music to theatre and dance. Highly flexible and collaborative, Derek has premiered over fifty solo and chamber works and most recently recorded percussion for the Disney live-action movie Mulan and two music media albums produced by West One Music Group. He will be premiering music from local composers Emily Koh and Bertram Wee in an upcoming EP. Co-founder and Creative Director at Morse Percussion, he is also part of award-winning Chinese chamber group Ding Yi Music Company, a regular at the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra and served as fellow at the Grammy-award winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Derek is a graduate of the Mannes School of Music, Royal College of Music and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

Jonathan Shin - Jonathan Shin performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, and composes across multiple genres. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Composition at the Peabody Conservatory. He earned his Master of Music Degree in Composition (Classical) at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. He is a graduate (Bachelor with Honors) of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Prof Thomas Hecht and Prof Ho Chee Kong.

A prizewinner of Singaporean and international piano competitions, Shin was awarded top prizes in all four age categories of the National Piano and Violin Competition. In 2008 he clinched 3rd prize in the Young Pianists Division of the 18th Ibiza International Piano Competition (Spain). At the age of 18, Shin was the youngest winner to be awarded 1st prize in the Conservatory’s 2010 Piano Concerto Competition. Shin is a founding member of the Lorong Boys, a Singaporean multi-genre quintet.

Churen Li - Artist Fellow at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and part-time academic faculty at Yale-NUS, internationally acclaimed Singaporean pianist, Churen Li, has won top prizes at international and national piano competitions. She will be giving her debut recital at the Singapore International Piano Festival in June 2021. She has been invited to perform recitals and chamber music at international festivals such as the Norfolk Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival and the International Summer Academy Music Festival. Concerto engagements include performances with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Klassische Budapest Philharmonic, Metropolitan Festival Orchestra Singapore, Mikhail Jora Philharmonic of Bacau and National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Churen is passionate about new music, having experimented increasingly with combining musical genres, as well as reconsidering performance practices in the programming of her concerts, and was listed in 2018 on Singapore Tatler’s Generation-T List. She holds degrees from Yale University, Cambridge University and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (National University of Singapore).

Gerald Lim - currently maintains a busy schedule as a performer and teacher to many budding musicians. He is a harpsichordist with Red Dot Baroque and has also managed the ensemble since its foundation. He is an active continuo player in the local music scene, having worked with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, re:Sound Collective, The Philharmonic Orchestra, and collaborates frequently with Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.

His performing career has taken him to two of the most prestigious Early Music festivals in the world: Musica Antiqua Brugge and the Utrecht Early Music Festival. He was awarded the Early Music prizes both at Royal Academy of Music, UK, where he completed his Master’s (with distinction) with Carole Cerasi, and at the University of Birmingham, UK, where he studied with Christine Whiffen.

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