Thursday 15 September 2016


Paganini Lost and Found was the title of a lecture-recital given at the Lee Foundation Theatre of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts on Wednesday 14 September 2016. It appears to be a new approach to public music education adopted by the Academy, involving an informal discussion between faculty members and performances by students and alumni. 

The talk about Niccolo Paganini and the legacy spawned by his famous Caprice No.24 was moderated by composer-lecturer Zechariah Goh Toh Chai and the information provided to the audience was simple and avoided all technical jargon. Attended by a fairly sizeable audience including many children (who were well-behaved), this looks like something NAFA could do more of to make classical music approachable to lay-people.

The concert began with Chan Yoong Han
performing Paganini's Caprice No.24
with all its fiendish variations.
The panel of violinist Chan Yoong Han,
Dean of Music School Lim Yau and pianist
Nicholas Loh discussed about Paganini's legacy.
Just look at Nicholas' space-age boots. 
Young pianist Chen Yue performed Liszt's
Paganini Etude No.6, which was a literal
transcription of the caprice on piano.
The duo of Song Yuexuan and Zou Yuanxu
gave an excellent performance on 2 pianos of
Lutoslawski's Paganini Variations,
filled with harmonic and dynamic quirks.
Winnie Chua performed Robert Muczynski's
Desperate Measures with much aplomb,
a jazzy look at the popular theme.
Arguably the best performance of the evening
came from saxophonists Michellina Chan & Alexis Seah
with pianist Jessica Leong in Jun Nagao's Paganini Lost,
a most exuberant jazz showpiece.

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