CECILY CHEN (ERHU)
Ms. Chen has been a music lover since childhood. In 2010, she graduated with a Masters degree in Music education, major in Erhu at Central China Normal University.
She started her Erhu training at the age of seven. In 1998, she furthered her musical studies at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She had studied with Professor Wang Guo-tong, Head of Chinese Music Department at the Academy. In 1999, Ms. Chen won the Second Prize at the “Liu Tian-hua Cup” National Youth Erhu Competition. Her performance was featured in a CD released by the Academy in 2000, celebrating the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Academy and the new millennium. She was invited as Erhu and Gaohu solo in a CD ROM produced by the Education Department for local primary schools.
She also participated in the performing tours to Austria in July 2001; Holland, Britain and Belgium in July 2002; Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Malaysia in June 2003. Ms. Chen had frequently served as soloist in concerts presented by the Academy, including concerts performed at the former Governor House.
From 2003 to 2004 she had worked with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and from 2004 to 2006, with Macau Chinese Orchestra and Macau Conservatory.
JIANG JIAWEN (ERHU)
Jiang Jiawen holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Literature specializes in Music Performance (Erhu) at The Central Conservatory of Music (China’s top leading music school) in July 2014. She started learning the Erhu Chinese instrument at a tender age and was accepted into the The Conservatory of Music at the age of 10. During her junior and middle school years, she was under tutelage of Erhu Virtuosi, Profession Ma Xiang-hua and Yu Hong Mei. She continue to pursue her learning in university mastering the various styles of Erhu techniques under Professor Yan Jiemin and picked up the Guqin instrument under Guqinist, Zhao Xiao-Xia.
As early as in 1999, Jiawen won the first prize in the National Junior Instrumental solo competition at the age of 8. During her youth she has received numerous awards and prizes and also participated in various performances in her Province. She won many awards held in the university, province, city and international level.
Some of the achievements are:
- 1st place in City Junior Erhu Tournament prize
- 1st place in the Grand Prize in Jilin Province Erhu Grand Prix
- 1st prize in the “Stars Cup” Erhu Competition
- won the Grand Prize of the CCTV Folk instrumental national competition
- 3rd prize at the “Zhonglu Cup” International Erhu competition
- excellent award at the Taiwan “Zhu Qian Cup” and “Dunhuang Cup” Erhu Competition
In 2012, Jiawen was assigned to Macau Orchestra by the university to perform a variety of performances, conduct New Year concert and also in the Portugal Music Festival. In 2013, she also participated in the China National Youth Music Festival, joining the Europe performing tour as a concertmaster to Bulgaria, Macedonia, Austria and Slovakia. Subsequently, she was also assigned to join the Central Nationalities Orchestra, Yan-Huang Chinese Orchestra to perform in various cities around the world and had received good comments. Thus she has very rich orchestra experience and also own recording of a variety of music-related programs of herself as well as foreign folk music documentaries and her own video works.
Jiawen was a full-time music instructor for a year before she pursued her degree course. Nonetheless, she has accumulated 4 years of experience as a freelance teacher during the course of her study. Some of these students under her tutelage had gained admission to The Central Conservatory of Music, China Conservatory of Music and some had even become Junior and Middle school teachers in their related field of study. She was widely praised and received good comments from students’ parents for her ability to impart the Erhu skills and to cultivate the students’ interest for Erhu and the love for music art. Currently, she is a full-time music instructor with Liberal Music & Arts School and her students range from age 6 to adults.
XU RONGXUE (GUZHENG)
Rongxue graduated with Bachelor Degree with Honor in Music, awarded by Goldsmiths University of London. She started learning Guzheng at the age of 6, under guidance of China famous Professor Qu Yun and Dr.Sun Zhuo, she developed music talent and experiences in stage performance. Due to the skills and hardworking practice, she achieved some good results in several international-level competitions.
Over her course of study at university, Rongxue learnt to outshine by mixing traditional and modern skills of Guzheng and was actively involved in music production and improvisation. Her performances in school were well received top her class during Graduation Music Concert. With her outstanding performances, Rongxue was invited by composition team to join them in their yearly concert.
Awards and stage performance
August 2016: The Highest prize at “Golden Lion Award” during the 22nd World Singapore Art Competition Final.
June 2015: Gold medal in Guzheng Youth group at Shaanxi division during the 4th International Guzheng contest.
Feb 2015: Gold medal in Guzheng Youth group during the 6th Hong Kong International Art festival Final.
Jan 2015: Gold medal in Guzheng Youth group at Shenzhen division during the 6th Hong Kong International Art festival.
2014: Participated multiple times Guzheng contest at Shaanxi division and won awards.
2011: The 1st prize in High School Guzheng group during the 7th China National Youth Festival Final held at Beijing, and invited to attend in television show named “Dreaming Flying.”2001: Participated multiple times stage performs.
CHOW SOK MUN (PIPA)
Chow Sok Mun, from Kluang, Malaysia. She started learning the piano at the age of 6 and attained her ABRSM Piano examination Grade 8 in the year 1999 and Theory Grade 8 in the year 2003. She graduated from NAFA since year 2009. At age of 13, Chow was introduced to the Pipa and was under the tutelage of Mr Pang Chin Soon.
Chow participated in the 5th in-school Chinese Instrumental Competition (Solo) Malaysia and emerged as the first prized winner in the solo Pipa category in the year 2002. Chow took the Pipa grade 7 and 8 grading examinations held by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and the China Central conservatory of music in the years 2003 and 2004 respectively. She also clinched a 2nd runner up in the 2004, the 6th Taiping Hua Lian Chinese Instrumental Competition (Solo) Malaysia in Perak and started her tutelage under Singapore Chinese Orchestra Pipa principal, Miss Yu Jia. Under the careful guidance of Miss Yu, Chow got a distinction for her Pipa grade 9 grading examinations held by NAFA and the China Central conservatory of music in 2005. In the same year, Chow was also awarded the 1st runner up as well as an outstanding award within the plucking section in the Chinese Instrumental Competition (Solo) Malaysia. In the year 2009, Chow was awarded the champion of plucking section in the Chinese Instrumental Competition (Solo) Malaysia.
After being encouraged by Miss Yu, Chow entered the Diploma in Music (Performance) course in NAFA as a Pipa major in 2006. She was also awarded the Singapore Tuition Grant by the Singapore government and therefore, successfully completed her diploma in 2009. Within the year 2007, Chow scored well and got into the Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra as the 2nd high scorer in the Pipa section. She is also actively involved in the music circle in Singapore participating in concerts such as the Jeff Chang concert in Singapore and Adam Cheng’s performance accompaniment. Chow is currently a graduated diploma student of NAFA (Dip in Music), majoring in Pipa.
She taught at a number of primary and secondary school’s Chinese Orchestra in Singapore. Chow is currently teaching Pipa section in Sembawang Primary School and Kheng Cheng School, both schools award distinction in SYF year 2014 and 2016. She is also the instructor of plucking section in Outram Secondary School which awards accomplishment in SYF year 2013 and East View Secondary School awards accomplishment in SYF year 2015. Chow is a music instructor who has full of teaching experience. Chow’s students were awarded Distinction under both NUS grading exam board and China Central Conservatory grading exam board.
NAKONECHNA ANASTASIIA (PIANO)
Born and raised in Nova Khahovka, Kherson region, Ukraine, Anastasiia began her musical education at the age of 7 with piano lessons. She participated in her first competition at the age of 9 and was awarded the 3rd prize. She played her first solo concert at the age of 14. In 2004 she entered Kherson Musical College and passed with excellent results.
Throughout college, she performed in concerts such as the philharmonic chamber orchestra and symphonic student orchestra. She is a winner of multiple competitions and her more notable achievements include winning the Special Prize “Opening of the competition” by Polish society in 2007 when she took part in the National competition chamber music named “I. Paderevskiy in Zhitomir” (Ukraine). In 2008 she participated in the International piano competition “Vivat, Musica” and was awarded the 3rd prize.
In 2012 she graduated with honours and holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the S.S. Prokofiev Donetsk State Academy of Music. During her studies at the academy, she did solo performances annually in concerts with different programs of classical music. Other than solo performances, she was also active in playing chamber music and piano accompaniments with other instrumentalists and vocalists. Her continuous participation as accompanist for her students in the National and International musical competition has won her “The Best Accompanist” title.
Having obtained her basic degree, she decided to further her music education. In 2013 she graduated with a Masters Degree in Musical Art and was qualified as a Teacher, performer of chamber ensemble, concertmaster and concert performer.
While pursuing her degree education, she has been working in musical school as an accompanist cum music teacher since 2010. After her graduation from the musical academy she worked as a piano teacher at the Donetsk musical college on the faculty of wind instruments. As a teacher, Anastasiia is patient, innovative and confident. She is deeply committed to a high standard and excellent quality of musical education.
KATERYNA RODINA (PIANO)
TEACHER’S PROFILE: Ms Kateryna Rodina
Kateryna was born in 1985 in a small Ukrainian town. She started her piano studies at the age of 7. In 2004 she brilliantly graduated from a music college and continued her education as a classical pianist in S.S. Prokofiev State Music Academy of Donetsk. During studying in the Music Academy (from 2004 to 2009) Kateryna systematically worked on professional and personal development training in several areas:
– Participation in concerts;
– Accompaniment for singers,
– Accompaniment for other instruments,
– Conducting piano lessons to children.
Kateryna started her musical career abroad in 2009 playing in a duo with a violinist in Cham Palace hotel of Damascus, Syria. In 2010 she moved to Turkey where stayed for 2 years performing in lobby of 3 hotels of the company «Gloria Hotels Resort».
In 2013 she had been invited for the new contract by the hotel Oryx Rotana in Doha, Qatar, where she worked from January 2013 till July 2013,developing new skills (as not only classical but also a jazz-style pianist).
During 2014-2015 Kateryna worked on a cruise ship as a classical pianist in a duo with violinist. She performed Classical concerts and played solo lounge music regularly. Since September 2016 till July 2017, Kateryna worked as a piano teacher and Music Theory teacher at International Centre of Music in Doha, Qatar.
She shares with students her professionalism, experience and ability to achieve goals with pleasure, she uses positive and an individual approach to every personality. Kateryna believes in new generation of musicians and teaches them how to develop skills, not to afraid of stage and performing, to respect basic classical principles of music and to enjoy music as a great treasure and inspiration of a personality and the whole humanity.
Kateryna likes discovering different countries, learning languages. She highly respects culture of every country she works in. The most important thing for being a musician, in Kateryna’s opinion, is to play with an open heart and to believe in yourself.
KRASIMIRA NIKOLAEVA (PIANO/ACCORDION)
Born in Bulgaria, South-eastern Europe, Krasimira started her musical education at a young age. She graduated and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Pedagogy of music training and was qualified as a teacher in music from Shumen University, Bulgaria in 2000. She also specializes in the methods of accordion teaching.
A passionate and enthusiastic individual, Krasimira is proficient in piano and vocal and has been a music teacher with over 10 years’ experience in classical, pop, jazz and folk music. On top of her teaching, she is also actively promoting and displaying her musical skills in many public events such as radio shows, TV programs and orchestra.
She is one of the very few talented and specialized accordion musicians in Singapore. Some of the performances that she represented as an accordion player are:
• 2013: Hoods Inc. Productions Pte Ltd/TV Channel 5, Knockout Production as a presenter of the Accordion as a New Art in Singapore
• 2012: Cadbury Jollyville live music promotion with Accordion Performance
• 2012: New Year’s Eve Parade countdown, Simply Orangez Pte Ltd “Events with a Zest”
• 2011: Project Intan, ARC Children Centre Charity event, Singapore
• 2010~2011: “Accordion Talk & Demonstration”, Childcare Centre, Singapore
• 2009: “Typewriter” CD, guest accordion performer in the music album, Singapore
• 2008: Singapore Art Festival Orchestra and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra guest accordionist in “The Lord of the Rings Symphony”
• 2001~2002: Accordion Music Tour in France
As a teacher, Krasimira is able to bring out the best talent in the student and distinguished ability to demonstrate and encourage aspiring young musicians with high level of professionalism and excellent communication skills.
“Music is a challenging and fulfilling intellectual, physical and emotional experience. It gives students opportunities for personal, moral and social growth in addition to the basic skills of music instruction. Creating meaningful musical experiences gives students opportunities to grow and explore music from within their soul in ways they would not do outside of school, so the experiences stay with them throughout their lives.”
FENG JUN (PIANO)
Chinese-born Feng Jun holds a B.A and M.A in music with a focus in performance, conducting, composition, theory, piano in China and USA. She is a accomplished musician, composer, performer for pianist, ukulele player & singer.
She received her first piano lessons at the age of 4 with professor Wang Pei Hua (National Piano performer and educator).
At the age of 7, she began to study the accordion and vocal and received both high quality cultural and musical education. As a young teenager, she played with various bands and young performers in China.
In 2005 she studied under the supervision of professor Huang Xun Fang (Wuhan Conservatory of Music) and began to study composition theory systematically and was later admitted to the composition department of Music College of Sichuan Normal University and studied with professor Chen Qi Yun. She has been honored often through awards and praises for her piano performances and competitions.
She has a systematic and profound understanding of the learning and teaching methodology. Although she is young, she has already had decades of teaching experience. Her lessons are lively and exciting. She makes a concentrated effort to try to cultivate students’ interest in learning piano, as well as strengthen their learning habits and improve their piano skill. She also has a strong background in music theory, let her students have a more comprehensive understanding of music. Develop skills in their interests and seek interests in their abilities. She was familiar with teaching concepts and study habits in domestic and international. She made relevant study plans according to the students’ conditions. She believes that high-level core instrumental training with a balance of theory and performance.
In 2013, she received offers with a high scholarship from Longy School of Music of Bard College and left for USA to pursue her music career. She studied with Professor Peter Cassino, Jeremy Van Buskirk (Longy School of Music of Bard College), Ben Schwendener (New England Conservatory), Greg Hopkins(Berklee College of Music). She was graduated from Longy with two masters degree in Classical Composition and Modern American Music.
GABRIELLE JIANG QINGYI (PIANO / VOCAL)
Aug 2017 – May 2019
Royal College of Music, London UK
Bachelor of Music (Hons)
July 2014 – May 2017
Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, Singapore
Diploma in Music
At a young age, Gabrielle has always been passionate of piano and vocal singing. She started to learning piano since age 4, which led to her enrolment in NAFA and Royal College of Music. Recently she graduated from Royal College of Music at 2019, under the tutelage of Dr Jessica Chen Hsian-An and Profs Janis Kelly while she’s pursuing her Bachelor of Music, and not only so, between her studies, she has also work with a local chorus organization as an assigned pianist.
Within the study at Royal College of Music, she has had many opportunities to work with the international artists such as Profs Nicholas Sears, Patricia Bardon, Vladimir Chernov and Olga Toporkova. And Gabrielle has won the second prize of NAFA vocal competition.
Her recent operatic roles include Alexis in Offenbach’s L’île de Tulipatan (2018), Poiretapée in Offenbach’s Mesdames de la Halle (2017), Amalthée in Offenbach’s Daphnis et Chloe (2016).
Gabrielle has performed solo and as a member of NAFA chamber choir in Taiwan, China, Singapore and Indonesia. You She performed as a member of Bizet’s Carmen (2016), Mahler’s Symphony No.3 (2016) with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Chorus at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Bach’s Magnificat (2015) at Victoria Concert Hall, conducted by Ashley Solomon. Mozart’s Requiem at Lee Foundation Theater (2014), J.S. Bach’s Gloria (2015), Haydn’s The Creation (2015), Rossini’s Stabat Mater (2016) Beethoven Symphony 9 (2017) at Victoria Concert Hall, conducted by Lim Yau.
Gabrielle is motivated to develop into a passionate and expressive musician and teacher, and she wishes to motivate others in a appreciating and creating music.
BAI XIAO JUAN (PIANO)
Ms. Bai Xiao Juan graduated from the Royal College of Music (RCM), London with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music performance.
Ms. Bai began learning piano and started formal music classes at a tender age of 4 years old in Tianjin under Wang Yibo, who is a professor from attached middle school of Tianjin Conservatory of Music. At age 7, she received a grade 4 certificate in piano from China Central Conservatory of Music. In the same year she was also invited to perform at Tianjin TV station. By the age of 11 years old, she achieved a grade 9 certificate with Central Conservatory of Music, China.
In 2003 she went to attached middle school of Tianjin Conservatory of Music to start her professional music career under Professor Wang Yibo and Xieyuan and successfully graduated in 2009 before coming to Singapore to further her music study.
Ms. Bai was trained 5 years at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) under pianist Professor Ong Lip Tat and Rena Phua before she went to London for an internship in 2013 at the Royal College of Music.
During term of her study in NAFA, she has also performed in concerts and festivals in Malaysia, London, Thailand, etc.
She is currently teaching Piano, Theory and Aural at Liberal Music & Arts School and her students age ranges from 6 to adult.
OLENA PONPON (VIOLIN)
Olena Ponpon grew up in Donetsk, Ukraine. She started learning the violin at the age of three and performed her first solo concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Ukraine, only one year after beginning the violin. Since then she performs annual concerts with various chamber and symphony orchestras of Ukraine. She also participated in the festival “Ukrainian Talents”.
At the age of 14, having successfully passed all required selection tests, she joined the Ukraine Youth symphony Orchestra, “Young Talents of Donbass” under the Ministry of Culture and Art. She was a persistent member in the orchestra and became the concertmaster at the age of 15. She was also concertmaster of the Ukraine Ladies chamber orchestra and the string quartet “Bomond” at the age of 20. She has worked with many international acclaimed artistes and distinguished teachers such as Vladimir Spivakov, Bogodar Kotorovich, etc.
Olena is also proficient in the Piano. In 2000, she picked it up as a second instrument at the State Academy of Music and since then has participated in competitions and performed at concerts in various provinces in Ukraine.
In 2005 she earned the champion award in the international competition of violinist “S.S. Prokofieva”; and in 2006, a gold award as a violin player in the string trio in the international competition “Inside of Music”.
After graduating from S.S. Prokofiev Donetsk State Academy of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in music art in 2008, she became a professional violinist with the Ukrainian string quartet and has since performed in many concerts from Ukraine to Europe and USA.
As a music instructor, Olena Ponpon has good knowledge of many styles of music from classical, pop, jazz to folk, and is keen to impart to those who are willing to learn.
NADINE NG (VIOLIN)
Nadine graduated with a Bachelor of Music with Honours (BMus) degree from the Royal College of Music London (RCM) through the NAFA-RCM degree programme under full scholarship, studying with Professors Matthias Oestringer (NAFA), Natalia Lomeiko and Yuri Zhislin from the RCM.
As an active orchestral and chamber musician, she performs with the Philharmonic Orchestra Singapore, Singapore Lyric Opera, and Spot Pocket Opera Theatre.
Besides playing in symphony and string orchestras, Nadine also enjoys playing in quartets and other chamber ensembles, coached by professors Madeleine Mitchell, Janice Tsai, Foo Say Ming and Leslie Tan. She has also participated in masterclasses with world renowned violinist Uto Ughi, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ani Schnarch, Kam Ning and Michael Ma.
In the 2017 Nanyang International Music Competition, she also attained a Silver award in the Western Chamber Music category with her string quartet, and they were invited to perform for His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, at the British High Commission in 2017. She was also invited to coach at the Suzuki Music Association of Indonesia Camp, as well as in Petra, Surabaya to hold violin clinics for the music students there. She currently teaches in Singapore at music schools and primary schools as a violin instructor.
She has been teaching violin and music theory since 2014 with students ranging from 5 to 40 years old, using teaching material gathered from the Suzuki method, Sassmanshaus method and from her own experiences as a growing violinist. Through these methods, Nadine believes that playing chamber music and tackling technical problems early on in music education is very important in a student’s aural and practical music development.
LOY CHIEN THYE (GUITAR/UKULELE)
Locally born, Mr. Loy started picking up the guitar at the age of 15. He took up music learning from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in 2010 with a Diploma in music performance, major in composition studies.
Since 2008 Mr. Loy has been teaching guitar lessons privately before joining Liberal Music & Arts School in mid 2014 as a freelance guitar cum ukulele instructor.
Some of his past involvement that he participated are:
- Outdoor performance at the Esplanade
- Sessionist for Fusion band (collaboration with strings orchestra at Victoria Memorial Hall)
Besides teaching, Mr. Loy has also experienced doing recording and producing sound tracks in studio setting during his free time. He is a passionate and dedicated instructor and loves to share his knowledge to those who are willing to learn. He is able to teach finger-plucking and strum-and-sing on ukulele and acoustic guitar. His lessons cover pop songs, gospel music, Chinese songs, fingerstyle arrangements, Japanese songs, etc. He will focus on the student’s interest and fuse theory and aural practice into it so that the students won’t get bored and have fun in the process. As every student is unique, he would do his best to cater to their level. Each student’s progress will depend solely on the amount of time he put in.