Saturday 23 September 2023





Friday (22 September 2023)

It cannot be over-estimated how the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore has impacted the classical music scene over the past 20 years. Before it was inaugurated in 2003, young people who aspired to become professional musicians had to study overseas, usually in UK, USA and Australia. All that changed when the Singapore Conservatory of Music was formed with help from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. The Conservatory took the name of the late Malaysian piano teacher Yong Siew Toh, becoming the sister faculty of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

Every year, conservatory graduates comprising cohorts of young professionals become members of Singapore's top music groups, including the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra and re:Sound Collective. Also formed were the conservatory's resident ensembles such as Red Dot Baroque, T'ang Quartet and the Lorong Boys. Not to mention many soloists and those who return to their home countries in Southeast Asia and East Asia to serve their respective musical scenes. In short, YST has become integral to the future of classical music in Singapore and the region.

The Espoir Quartet,
formed by current YST students.

YST's 20th anniversary was celebrated with a gala dinner at the historical Clifford Pier, now part of the Fullerton Bay Hotel. Its art deco architecture was the perfect setting for a little bit of history making. Here are some photos from the dinner on Friday 22 September 2023, and it truly was an evening to remember.  

A New Orleans styled brass procession
opened the dinner...

...leading to a complete performance
of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with
An Ning on piano and Lien Boon Hua conducting.

YST's latest faculty member An Ning,
his wife Angela and cellist Qin Li-Wei. 

More cellists:
Leslie Tan and Tang I Shyan

Pianists Lin Hengyue and Lin Xiangning. 

Violinists: Lianhe Zhaobao's Zhang Heyang
and Luo Wei, conductor of the Kids Philharmonic
and curator of the Rin Foundation violins.

Laura Peh and Kris Tan of Kris Foundation
with pianist Abigail Sin and Zhang Heyang.

Alan Choo and Lien Boon Hua,
founder-directors of Red Dot Baroque
and Wayfarer Sinfonietta.

Its swingtime with the Lorong Boys and Friends.

A duet by Kira Lim and Wim Wasin,
now a singer-songwriter in Bangkok

Michael Tay (The Foundation),
Low Jia Hua (Metropolitan Festival Orchestra)
and pianist-composer Jonathan Shin. 

Appearing in next year's Piano Extravaganza,
Jonathan Shin and Lin Xiangning

Composer Adeline Wong and founding
YST administrator Rachel Tang

Glamorous winds:
flautist Rachel Ho and clarinettist Miao Kaiwen

Qin Li-Wei meets the Batik Brigade:
pianomaniac, composer Ho Chee Kong
and conductor Chan Tze Law

NUS President Tan Eng Chye
and YST Dean Peter Tornquist
pay a visit to the "Pianists Table" 25,
which include Liu Jia, An Ning, Albert Tiu, 
Choi Hye Seon, Lim Yan and piano fanciers.

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