News roundup up till 2010

Here is an archive of the news items up till 2010:

20 Aug 2010
Yair Klartag's Bipolar Disorder wins the 31st Irino Prize, 2010

Yair Klartag, born in 1985, has won the 31st Irino Prize for Chamber-Orchestral composition, 2010 with his 13 minute Bipolar Disorder.

Jury for the year were Joji YUASA, Yori-Aki Matsudaira, Satoshi Tanaka ( Chairman), akayuki Rai , Mari Takano, Masahiro Miwa and Haruyuki Suzuki and Guest jury Yasuaki Itakura.

The world premiere by Tokyo Sinfonietta will take place on its 29th subscription concert on 1 July 2011 at the Tokyo Bunka-kaikan at 7pm.

Meanwhile, also to be organised are:
  • "The Irino Prize Chamber Music Winners Concert” in Tokyo on November 3rd in 2010 at the Opera City Recital Hall, featuring winner's compositions from the 22nd to the 30th competitions and one winner's composition from the Gaudeamus Foundation as a guest composition plus one work of late Masanori Fujita and one of the late Yoshiro Irino.

  • A related concert "Music Documents '10" by Satoko Inoue (piano), on September 25th in 2010 at Mon-naka tenjo Hall in Tokyo, with piano works of the past Irino Prize winners.
About the award

The Irino Prize was founded in 1980 in honor of the late Yoshiro Irino, one of the most respected Japanese composers of his generation. The prize is administrated by The IRINO Prize Foundation which was established after his death, on June 23, 1980, by Mrs Reiko Takahashi Irino with the collaboration of renowned composers late Maki ISHII, Joji YUASA and Yori-Aki Matsudaira.

The Irino Prize is awarded to young composers who explore new directions, and demonstrate innovative creativity.The Irino Prize category alternates yearly, and is given for orchestral works in even years, and chamber works in odd years.

8 Aug 2010
Young Musician's Society's “Site-things” competition , results

No prize was awarded for this competition as the works submitted were not site specific to the YMS Arts Centre - the central criteria of the competition.
However, two of the stronger works have been chosen to be performed on 8th August 2010 at Magnetic Band’s SITE-THINGS – the Concert.

List of entries (not in order of merit):
1) Drinking Alone with the Moon (Livia GHO, Singapore) for Voice & Zheng
2) * Impromptu pour un monodrama (David HUDRY, France) for Bassoon & Electronics
3) On Wings of Song (LI Bo, China) for Flute, Erhu, Sheng & Electronics
4) * ANGEN (Soe Tjen MARCHING, Indonesia) for Piano (four hands)
* selected for performance on 8th August 2010

18 July 2010   
Asian Music Festival 2010 in Tokyo from 1 - 6 October 1 2010

The Japan Federation of Composers Inc is co-organising the Asian Music Festival 2010 in Tokyo, opening at Sogakudo Hall, Tokyo University of the Arts on 1 Oct 2010. The festival features music by PQ Phan, Lam Fung and many composers from Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and the region in orchestral, vocal and chamber concerts.
The festival is coorganised by Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Culture Creation Project (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Asian Music Festival 2010 in Tokyo Executive Committee and Tokyo University of the Arts.

21 Mar 2010
Call for submissions: Thailand International Composers Competition (Thailand International Composition Festival 2010)

The Thailand International Composition Festival will be on again this year from July 12 to 16, 2010 at Rangsit University, Bangkok, Thailand. The festival will include a competition for young composers writing for a Trio, and is calling for scores for a competition. Deadline for submissions is 1 June 2010.

The guest composers for this year's festival are:
  • Robert Beaser (Composition Department Head of Julliard School of Music, NYC)
  • Joao Pedro Oliveira (Composition Faculty from Aveiro University, Portugal)
  • Xiaogang Ye (Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing)
  • Zhou Long (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
For more information contact Narong Prangcharoen

10 Jan 2010
Call for scores: Young Musician's Society's “Site-things” competition , deadline 30 April 2010

Singapore's Young Musician's Society's Magnetic Band is inviting composers to participate in “Site-things”, through a call for scores written for and in response to the home of the Band – the YMS Arts Centre – and its inhabitants. For more information and the competition brochure, please write to
Download the brochure

10 Jan 2010
Call for scores: Sichuan Conservatory of Music China 6th SCCM New Composition Competion takes place in May 2010, deadline March 31, 2010

The Sichuan Conservatory of Music will be organising their 6th SCCM New Composition Competition in Chengdu China in May 2010 (pPreviously known as the Sun River Prize Students New Composition Competition). The competition calls for a work of under 12 minutes for a combination of up to 9 instruments.
Participants from any country and nationality are welcome. Entries must be received before March 31, 2010. More information visit their website or email

1 Dec 09
Philippine young composer Juro Kim Feliz wins KLCMF 09 Young Composers Competition 09

It was a close fight for the inaugural Goethe South East Asian award at the KL Contemporary Music Festival 09 Young Composers Competition finals held at SEGi University College on 29 Nov 09.

The eventual overall winner was Philippine composer Juro Kim Feliz with his Sa Kanyang Paglingon (In Her Glances) for flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion.

Feliz was born in Floridablanca, Philippines, in 1987. He began musical studies in his early years through piano lessons from his mother. His interest in 20th Century music led him to study composition at the University of Philippines College of Music where he also studied the Japanese koto.

Chow Jun Yi, currently pursuin g his graduate degree at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, took the Malaysian award with his A Night Without Voices for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion. Chow was a finalist in Malaysia's inaugural HSBC Young Composers Workshop 2008 and recently won first prize at the Palatino Awards for vocal music in Beijing in May 09.

The complete results are as follows:
Goethe South East Asian Young Composer Award:
1st Prize: Juro Kim Feliz
2nd prize: Chow Jun Yi
3rd prize: Thatchatham Silsupan and Tan Tuan Hao

Malaysian Young Composer Award:
Chow Jun Yi

The competition marked a successful conclusion of three day series of workshops, concerts and conference attended by composers from around South East Asia, New Zealand, China and Germany with an overwhelming audience turnout at all the events. Officiating the festival was YB Elisabeth Wong, EXCO Selangor and ADUN Bukit Lanjan, who in her address stressed the importance of music as an expression and a voice of the people. Find out more about the competition and listen to the concert.

28 Sep 09
Melbourne and Malaysian composers get together to celebrate Spring on 8 Nov 09

The Melbourne Composers’ League is holding the next of their regular ‘Four Seasons’ concerts on 6 December 09. The coming instalment, titled "Spring", will feature Australian and Malaysian works. Previous concerts featured Hong Kong composers (Winter) and Korean and Filipino composers (Autumn).

The work of a composer who does not want to be named, and C H Loh's Winter Night On The River for 2 saxophones, shakuhachi and percussion, form the Malaysian part of the programme, alongside Australian composers Katy Abbott, Ros Bandt, Simon Charles, Lachlan Davidson, Stuart Greenbaum, Andrián Pertout and Antonio Tenace.

The concert features an interesting combination of performers - Lachlan Davidson and Tony Hicks (saxophones), Andrew MacGregor (shakuhachi) and Eugene Ughetti (percussion).

28 Sep 09
The Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival 2009 brings together Indonesian
and Malaysian composers

Yogya composers bridge the gap between Malaysia and Indonesia in October when they hold the Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival 2009, which will host works by a record number of Malaysian composers.

Chong Huey Ching, Neo Nai Wen, Ngiao Tzu-En and other Malaysian composers will have their works presented as part of the three day festival in the arts capital of Java, held at the French Cultural Centre and Program Pascasarjana ISI Yogyakarta.

The festival is organized by the Independent Composers Community Yogyakarta in cooperation with Asian Cultural Council, Lembaga Indonesia Prancis (French Cultural Centre) Yogyakarta, Cantus Music Centre Jakarta, Program Pasca Sarjana ISI Yogyakarta (Indonesia Institute of the Arts Post-Graduate Programme), and will also feature works from Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong and Iran and others.

26 Jun 09
Nieuw Ensemble's Second Chinese Composers Competition

The Nieuw Ensemble of Amsterdam organizes their Second Competition for Chinese Composers. Participants are requested to write a work for the Nieuw Ensemble and send in their score before October 31, 2009. The winning works will be premièred during the Europalia Festival in Belgium, a unique and prestigious event that will take place in from October 2009 to February 2010. The winning composers will be invited to attend rehearsals and performances by the Nieuw Ensemble in January 2010 in Brussels and in Gent and possibly in Amsterdam.

The Nieuw Ensemble – one of Europe’s top ensembles for new music – is renowned for its fruitful collaboration with Chinese composers, such as Tan Dun, Qu Xiaosong, Jia Daqun, Xu Shuya, Chen Qigang and Guo Wenjing. The Chinese repertoire of the Nieuw Ensemble consists of more than 70 works especially written for the group. In 1997 the ensemble toured China with concerts in Shanghai and Beijing; in 2008 the Nieuw Ensemble with great success performed two concerts in the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing.

Info: email to

6 Jun 09
Chow Jun Yi wins first prize in the Palatino Awards 2009 for vocal music in Beijing

Young composer Chow Jun Yi's new work for chorus and percussion Spirit of the Rattling Earth won first prize in the choral section of the recent Palatino Awards for vocal music in Beijing on 30 May 09. The event took place at Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music Concert Hall and saw 48 submissions from composers from a wide age group ranging from 17 to 60 years of age.
The jury panel remarked that the event "marks the spirit of an era. This is an era of musical talent, which we need actively to mine and to discover." Chow was a finalist in the Malaysian Composers Collective's inaugural HSBC Young Composers Workshop 2008 in 2008 where he presented his exciting work for piano, flute and oboe Trio Dance II.
Listen to Chow's winning work at his myspace site and watch Trio Dance II at Malaysian Composers TV.

13 May 09
Teh Tze Siew's Bamboo Forest receives international premiere in Reykjavik, Iceland

Teh Tze Siew's Bamboo Forest, which was performed during the MPO Forum II in 2007, will receive its international premiere in a chamber version in Reykjavik, Iceland. The work will be programmed by the Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra as part of the Women From The East concert on 21 May 09 along with works of Sofia Gubaidulina, Franghiz Alizadeh and Lera Auerbach.

The concert will be conducted by the Russian-born French conductor and pianist, Vladimir Stoupel, renowned for "an extraordinary technical command that enables him to explore the outermost limits of expression, and to mesmerise audiences with his musical intensity."

10 May 09
Manila Composers' Lab at University of Philippines College of Music 4th - 11 June 09

University of Philippines is holding an intensive composer lab where participants will present sketches for woodwind quintet to their fellow participants, gathering insight and further input from both participants and instrumentalists as they complete their works. Music by the mentors will also be featured in the preliminary reading, serving as points of reference for their later consultations.

In a span of four days, three distinguished Filipino composers – Dr. Ramon Pagayon Santos,
Dr. Jonas Baes and Prof. Josefino Toledo – will be mentoring the participants as they present
sketches of their work given the availability of the woodwind quintet. The participants will
also be rehearsing with the quintet, and will be finishing their pieces throughout this period.

Prof. Kanapia Kalanduyan will give a lecture-demonstration on the Maguindanao Kulintang
ensemble. The lab will culminate in a concert featuring finished works by the participating composers.

30 Apr 09 Call For Participation: Malaysian and South East Asian Young Composers Competition 09, deadline 30 May 09

The 1st KL Contemporary Music Festival is co-organised by Goethe-Institut Malaysia and Malaysian Composers Collective, and will be held in Kuala Lumpur from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 November 2009.
The festival, with this year's theme of Cityscapes, will bring together the best of South East Asian contemporary music at nightly concerts by international contemporary music ensembles and fringe events and talks by invited regional composers.
One of the highlights of the Festival is the Young Composers Competition 09 which is open to composers from Malaysia and South East Asia who are 30 years or below. Entry submission is now closed. Find Out More About KLCMF 09 >>

31 Mar 09
Malaysia rejoins the Asian Composers League (ACL)

On 30 March 09 at the General Assembly of the Asian Composers League, an organisation of regional composers' associations, member countries of the League unanimously voted to approve the Malsaysian Composers Collective's membership application as Malaysia's representative country organisation.

President of the ACL Dr Joshua Chan from Hong Kong welcomed Malaysia's return to the League, and remarked on the high quality of new compositions that were heard at the festival in Tongyeong. for example Ng Chong Liim's A Distant Voice of the Rain Forest.

As a member country of the ACL, Malaysia has the opportunity to send a representative to the next ACL festival's Young Composers Competition likely to be held in 2010.

20 Feb 09
Keronchong Seminar and Modern Composition Concert at Universitas Pelita Harapan, Karawaci, Indonesia

A seminar on Keroncong will be held in conjunction with a new music concert by Indonesian young composers at Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) from 25 - 26 February 09.

The seminar will discuss the history and music of the keronchong from the perspective of its hybrid origins between Indonesian and Western cultures. Following the seminar is a concert of new music by young composers from Jakarta, Karawaci dan Yogyakarta which consist of chamber, vocal as well as electronic music including improvisation and the ue of both traditional and western instruments.

The aim of the event is to bring together various aspects of music in order to broaden the appreciation of music from both genres.

Keronchong Seminar
Wed 25 Feb 09
6pm. UPH Recital Room 426.
The Circle "Pentas Kampus" Concert
Thurs 26 Feb 2009
6pm, UPH Room 409
Universitas Pelita Harapan is at Jalan MH Thamrin, Lippo Karawaci, Karawaci, Tangerang,
Banten, Indonesia

9 Jan 2009
Contemporary music at the Mahidol University College of Music New Music Festival on 7 Jan 2009

One of the premiere Universities on the Bangkok musical front, Mahidol University held a festival of new music in January at its premises featuring the music of Edgar Varese, Thai composers Jiradet Setabundhu, Pradit Saengkrai, Boonrut Sirirattanapan and friends.

The concert was a mixture of electronic and acoustic chamber music by Mahidol's musicians that also saw the premiere of CH Loh's Mae Khong for Saxophone Quartet by Malaysian saxophonist Low Chee Meng and the Mahidol Quartet.
The festival, in the organisers' own words, represent:

"a place
a musical space,
a musically democratic place and space
in which various,
and multifarious
talents and aesthetic points of view
are presented,
thus expressing the
diversity and richness
of the musical culture the College has to offer.

Presenting and re-presenting
acoustic and
electro-acoustic compositions. Creating
and re-creating (in recreation!)
Musique concrete works involving traditional Thai
instruments and computer,
acoustic works that are
interactive with electronics
as well as audio visual compositions; an event
in which the latest techniques of contemporary
musical composition are showcased along with works that
employ more traditional instrumentation and techniques, the
purpose of which is to promote new music,
to inform and educate the community at large,
to inform (and form within),
perhaps re-form, colleagues and
students about the creative work and
research being done by the Faculty,
an educational opportunity for
young composers and students in general, exposed
as they will be, to a variety of styles,
techniques and aesthetic conceptions.

The Mahidol New Music festival
will also have the function –
the social function - of being
a model for a kind of social space
in which difference, diversity and dialogue are encouraged
and respected; an attitude befitting a University
that is committed to internationalization. Hoping then that this
event will inaugurate a series of concerts
thus becoming a tradition in which
new and inventive music
is re-newed and celebrated,
perhaps reverberating throughout the years at Mahidol University’s
College of Music."

1 Nov 2008 Dr Jonas Baes presents the API Forum at University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur in October 08

Filipino composer and ethnomusicologist Dr. Jonas Baes from the University of the Philippines presented the Asian Public Intellectuals (API) Public Forum at the Cultural Centre of University of Malaya on Friday 24 October 2008.
His presentation The Roots And Routes Of A New Music Composition From The Philippines included a performance of his work Patangis-Buwaya (....and the crocodile weeps...).

Dr Baes' abstract:
WHILE ON FIELDWORK among indigenous "internal refugees" in 2003, my mind became occupied with the composition of a new musical work for four wind instruments. Conditioned perhaps by the quagmire of marginality, and of the perennial conflicts that confront indigenous peoples in the peripheral "backlands" of the Philippines, I imagined this new work to be about "weeping." This presentation discusses the conceptual sources this composition, tracing its protean manifestations in subsequent years, as it is performed and musically "translated" in a number of performances in different countries. With its title and inspiration from legends of the Iraya-Mangyan people of Mindoro Island in the Philippines, the discussions of this work will also address the discourses of 'contemporary music,' of 'music composition and performance,' of 'the production of cultural difference,' and of 'marginality.' The talk will be followed by an experimental performance of the composition on a Malay 'serunai,' a solo voice, and two saxophones.
Dr Baes spent the last weeks of his residence at UM meeting with Malaysian composers, and has returned to the University of Philippines to present his paper based on his research on the Malaysian contemporary music phenomenon. Off The Edge magazine will also run an interview with Dr Baes in December 2008.
JONAS BAES, composer and ethnomusicologist studied composition with Ramon P. Santos (1977 to 1982) and ethnomusicology with Jose Maceda (1982-1985) at the University of the Philippines, and with Mathias Spahlinger (1992-1994) at the Staaliche Hochschule fuer Musik Freiburg in Germany. He finished his doctorate in Philippine Studies at the University of the Philippines in 2004 with a dissertation on the Poltics of the Production of Cultural Difference. His large-scale works use "unorthodox" sound sources like bean-pod rattles, vaious bamboo instruments and gongs, as well as Asian vocal colors, and utilize karge numbers of performers, which at most times include the audience.

17 Oct 2008
Tan Zi Hua and Lee Chie-Tsang selected as finalists for the Ton de Leeuw 2008 International Competition in Albania in Nov 08.

Winner of the HSBC Young Composers Workshop 2008 Tan Zi Hua, and Sabahan Lee Chie-Tsang currently studying in Perth, are amongst 12 finalists selected for the Ton de Leeuw 2008 International Competition for Young Composers to be held at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, Albania from 23 - 26 Nov 08.
Tan, an Electrical Engineer from Penang, will be presenting his work Gate of Tears (Bab-al-Mandeb) for string quartet, while Lee will be presenting Illusory Mirror for an ensemble of string quartet, piano, flute and clarinet. The works will be performed by the Asmus Ensemble conducted by Alqi Lepuri.
Lee Chie Tsang, who is currently pursuing his graduate degree in composition at the University of Western Australia, has also been selected as a finalist for the Sibelius Composers Awards 2008 in Sydney this month.

17 Sep 2008
Young Choral Academy holds choral workshop on folksong arrangement for voice in September 08.

The KL vocal group Young Choral Academy will be hosting a choral workshop on folksong arrangment on 27 - 28 September 08. Topics will include:
  • definition of folk songs
  • choral arrangements of folk songs
  • examples of folk song arrangements by composers such as ChenYi, Toru Takemitsu and Qu Xixian
  • how to start arranging
  • practical tutorials
Choral conductors with the relevant requirements are welcomed to attend. Download the form. The workshop costs RM 200 and will be conducted by Zechariah Goh Toh Chai, lecturer from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. Details and conditions for participation can be found in the application form.

23 July 2008
Tan Zi Hua takes first prize at Malaysia's inaugural HSBC Young Composers Workshop 2008

Penang composer Tan Zi Hua took first prize at the inaugural HSBC Young Composers Workshop 2008 held at KLPac on 13 July 2008 with his composition Images of Wind II for flute, oboe and piano. His work was singled out by the Selection Panel for its fluency and practicality.

The workshop showcased performances of five finalists selected from a call for scores that began in March 2008. At the end of the selection round the works of Tan, together with Chow Jun Yan, Chow Jun Yi, Neo Nai Wen and Ng Shyh Poh, were selected to be workshopped by a chamber ensemble comprising flutist Vincent Kok, oboist Yong How Keen and pianists Chee Su Yen, Joyce Ho and Lee Yin Hwa.

The 25-year old Kelantanese is a full-time Electrical Engineer in Penang. Says Tan, "Growing up in Kelantan, I had never attended any music concerts. However, owing to an influx of indigenous cultures – Malay, Chinese, Arab and Indian, coupled with a tint of British colonial influences, the underground music scene in Kelantan is effervescent nonetheless."

"When I was very young, many nights were spent catching Nang Talung, a puppet theater originally from Southern Thailand. In addition, I was sent for piano and music theory lessons since I was four- after my parents had discovered that I have perfect pitch."

"Ten years later, I became a piano tutor with a diploma in solo piano and other certificates in violin and electronic organ performance. I enrolled at the University of Michigan on a scholarship provided by the government of Malaysia. Four years later, I graduated with honors in electrical engineering but with a dream to become a composer.

"I took many music courses the Michigan School of Music had to offer – musicology with Prof. Albin Zak, music theory with Prof. Andrew Mead, and piano performance under Sean Duggan and Dmitri Vorobiev."

"Throughout my years at Michigan, I found myself delving into early modern and contemporary pieces by composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Sibelius and Schoenberg during the first half of those years; Ligeti, Pärt, Glass, Messiaen, Takemitsu and Xenakis during the second half."

After graduation Tan moved from Kelantan to the more musically vibrant state of Penang, and vowed to make a difference in the local music scene. He serves as the composer-in-residence of PESSOC (Penang State Symphony Orchestra and Chorus), working closely with the orchestra and chorus conductor. Two of his works were commissioned and premiered by the very young PESSOC.

21 July 2008
Chinary Ung brings back Asian sensibilities to the Thailand International Composers Festival at Burapha University, Bangsaen, Thailand in July 08


Chinary Ung (right) with Anothai Nitibhon on translation.
The recent Thailand International Composers Festival at Burapha University in Bangsaen, a quiet local seaside town close to Pattaya, saw key speaker composer Chinary Ung bringing back a healthy dose of Asian sensibily to contemporary music discourse which, more often than not, tends to revolve around a Western perspective regardless of where it is held.
Ung, a Cambodian American veteran composer and student of Prof Chou Wen Chung, introduced ideas of Asian, and in particular, Buddhist philosophies and thought processes to the art of composing, demonstrating some of his seminal works such as Aura, Rain Of Tears and Spiral.
The Festival, organised by Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen for the fourth year running, saw performances of works by both Asian and American composers, including Chou Wen Chung, Elliot Carter, Narongrit Dhamabutra, Jiradet Sathaparn, Chaipruck Mekara, Denny Euprasert, Boonrut Sirirattanapan, Vanich Potavanich as well as Prangcharoen, and Ung himself along with some of his circle of friends such as Koji Nakano, Chih-Chen Wei, Kohei Mukai and Sean Heim

The three-day festival was well attended by Thai composition students from its many Universities in Bangkok, and featured daily lectures by composers like Anothai Nitibhon from Silpakorn University, Narongrit Dhamabutra of Chulalongkorn University and Surat Kemaleelakul of University.

The festival highlights included some of Ung's seminal works, such as his ongoing series Spiral series. Spiral XI "Mother and Child" for vocalising viola was performed by Ung's wife Susan Ung. while various musicians performed his Spiral Vi for clarinet, violin, cello and piano and Spiral IX Maha Sathukar for bariton, viola and percussion, showing different aspects of Ung's style and composition approach within a central framework deeply influenced by Cambodian traditions of music and philosophy. Excerpts from his Seven Mirrors for piano were also performed by Taiwanese pianist Cha-Lin Liu.

Some of the performers at the Festival included both invited guests from US and from Thailand, such as The New York New Music Ensemble, Bennett Lerner, Christopher Janwong McKiggan, Ekachai Jearakul, Lynn Vartan, Stacey Fraser, Susan Ung, Tom Buckner.

The festival was a great success for the local new music scene, and Prangcharoen is already planning on next years festival, which will be announced in due time. For more information visit his website

28 May 2008 Call for Artists Who Dare To Experiment: SicKL Open Lab (SOL)

Born to be different? If you are a composer or musician aiming to break the barriers of convention, then you are not alone.

SicKL OPEN LAB (SOL) is a monthly art laboratory where artists come together to show individual's work and form new collaboration. SiCKL will provide the environment for artistic expression, improvisation, experimentation, learning and collaboration. In each lab session, we encourage artists from different backgrounds to experiment with each other to create new work. This open platform is free to perform, to exhibit, to experiment and to collaborate. We welcome artists from all disciplines.
Dare to experiment! Surprise us and surprise yourself! SOL happens on the last Saturday of every month at 8pm.

For more information, please contact:
SicKL (Studio in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur)
Siew Wai: /
Sow Yee:

Is it pop? Free jazz? Noise? Art? SicKL is a project that defies any sort of label, and the people behind this sonic anarchy are the Experimental Musicians and Artists Co-operative Malaysia (EMACM) who gave a wonderfully wayward concert at the Annexe in February 08.

6 June 2008
New music event of the year! HSBC Classics

Piano Festival and Young Composers Workshop 08 features packed programme of Malaysian composers.
The HSBC Classics Piano Festival 2008 is set to be the premiere new music event in Malaysia this year. Packed with works by Malaysian composers, the festival showcases 5 Malaysian works as test pieces in the Piano Competition Semi Finals, capping the week of music festivities with the first ever Young Composers Workshop 2008.

The Piano Competition semi finals will include compulsory test pieces by Adeline Wong, Lee Chie Tsang and Ng Chong Lim.

The Young Composers Workshop will showcase new works by five young Malaysians from across the country, from Lahad Datu to Penang, alongside premieres of works by Johan Othman and Ng Chong Lim. > more

Piano Competition Semi Finals
7 & 8 July 2008
3 pm
KLPac Pentas 2
Young Composers Workshop 08
11& 13 July 2008
KLPac Indicine & Pentas 2

27 May 2008
Sichuan Conservatory at Chengdu reported to be safe after earthquake

The Sichuan Conservatory Of Music in Chengdu has been reported to be safe from the earthquake disaster that hit the region this month. This is an unofficial update from a composer colleague who has recently had contact with the Conservatory staff, who reported that no serious damage was suffered. We hope this piece of news brings some comfort to those who may have contacts at the Chengdu institution, who was conducting an international composition competition the Fifth Sun River Student Composition Competition just before disaster struck. One of the submissions from the 14 countries who took part is from Malaysia.

12 May 2008
Korean ensemble TIMF holds TIMF Academy Bangkok in June 08 

Ensemble TIMF Academy 2008 will be held in Bangkok from 30 June - 4 July 2008. The Academy is an educational programme directed at composers and performers under the age of 30. The programme will include lessons, lectures, workshops, rehearsals and concerts under instructions by Ensemble TIMF and great guest artists. For more information download the files below. Application deadline is Fri 16 May 08.

1 May 2008
Upcoming Concerts of Malaysian New Music

The coming months will see a number of performances of Malaysian music both at home and abroad.
A Malaysian work commissioned by American oboist Keri McCarthy will be performed as part of her South East Asian tour where she will also premiere works by Tony Prabowo (Indonesia),Nguyen Phuc Linh (Vietnam) and Dr Weerachat Premananda (Thailand) in Jakarta, Hanoi and Bangkok respectively. McCarthy's performance of this work will take place at Segi College on 10 June 2006.

If you are still hungry for more Malaysian new music check out the 6th Young Singers Choral Festival at KLPac on 5 June 08, which features two works by Melaka-born Ng Shyh Poh. Ng premieres a new experimental piece Science Fiction at the festival, and at the same festival the Dithyrambic Singers will also perform Ng's A Land Far Away, which won the first prize at the 1st Asian Choir Games Jakarta 2007.

25 Apr 2008
"INTERMEDIUM" - The 1st Yogyakarta Electronic music concert on 19 May 08

Yogya hosts its first electronic music concert featuring Indonesian composers such as Otto Sidhartha, Chairman of the Indonesian Composer's Association, and a number of other Indonesian composers from around the country as well as from the UK. According to the website, some of the genres covered will be voice manipulation, electroacoustics, computer music, turntables, tape, visual projection and sonic art.
The concert will be accompanied by an Electronic Music Talk on the topic "Ideas and Medium":
"Sesi ini akan dibicarakan persoalan hubungan antara ide dan medium dalam musik elektronik yang dikaitkan dengan proses kreatif. Bagaimanakah perbedaan realisasi ide pada musik elektronik dan musik akustik/ instrumen tradisional secara umum. Beberapa contoh karya musik elektronik dari periode awal sampai era computer akan diperdengarkan sebagai bahan diskusi melalui pendekatan sejarah dan perkembagan medium musikal. Bagi para pecinta musik kontemporer maupun publik umum dapat juga mengikuti agenda workshop untuk meningkatkan apresiasi terhadap musik seni khususnya yang berkembang di Indonesia."Selanjutnya - Find out more
The following week also sees a new music workshop for young composers called "6,5 Composers Collective Week".

5 Apr 2008
Thailand Composition Festival at Burapha University from 16 to 18 July 08.

The Thailand Composition Festival will be held from 16 - 18 July 08 at Burapha University this year. This annual event has been the growing focus for Thai new music scene since award-winning Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen began organising it in 2005 at his alma mater, Srinakharinwirot University.

This year the festival moves to Burapha University in order to bring new music to a wider audience. The Festival will feature guest lecturers such as Chinary Ung, David Vayo, Koji Nakano and Hu Xiaoou. It will consist of three days of seminars (during the daytime) and concerts at night.

Centrepiece of the performances is the New York New Music Ensemble, who will feature compositions by the guests composers culminating in a Chinary Ung tribute concert on the final night.

Lectures include David Vayo on improvisation for composers, American Soprano Stacey Fraser who will talk about the technique and repertoire of 20th and 21st Century vocal music. Chinary Ung will give a lecture about the current Asian Composer movement.

Says Prangcharoen, "It is very intensive festival. You will have to join all the day seminars for three days and also listen to some new pieces at the night concerts. It is wonderful experience for all of the participants."
The New York New Music Ensemble will also hold a panel discussion on New Music where they will just talk about how they approach brand new music, why they choose to play a particular new work and so on.
Burapha University is located in Bansaen in Chonburi, 100 km east of Bangkok in the district better known for Pattaya. For more information email Narong Prangcharoen at or visit
31 Mar 2008
Lee Chie-Tsang's Autumn Steps wins 2nd Prize at competition in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Malaysian composer Lee Chie-Tsang has won 2nd Prize at the 2008 Beethoven Club Composition Contest in Memphis, Tennessee, USA for his piano work Autumn Steps.

According to the organiser, the competition saw 43 entries from 8 countries, and the judges were reported to be very impressed with the quality of work of this 24-year old Sabahan, who is currently pursuing a degree in composition in Perth, Australia. The work will be performed as part of the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival, June 18-21 2008, at the Beethoven Club of Memphis.

Lee's Autumn Steps is also one of the test pieces for participants in the upcoming HSBC Classics Piano Festival piano competition.

1 Mar 2008
2009 Asian Contemporary Music Festival in Tongyeong & Seoul calls for scores.  

The Asian Composers League will hold its next festival in Tongyeong and Seoul, Korea, from March 26 until April 2 2009. The ACMF-TIMF 2009 widely welcomes newly composed music that gathers music and people, crossing over generations and continents through new trends and media with open-minded communication. Call for scores begins now and ends on 30 June 2008. Various categories are available as follows:
  • Orchestra
  • Chamber orchestra
  • String Quartet
  • Chamber ensemble
  • Choir or vocal ensemble
  • Electroacoustic music
  • Percussion ensemble

31 Jan 2008
HSBC Classics Piano Festival 2008 to include works by 9 Malaysian composers as compulsory piano competition set pieces.

HSBC launches its second cycle of HSBC Classics festivals this July 7-13 at KLPac with the Piano Festival and HSBC Classics Piano Competition, the centrepiece event of the year for every aspiring Malaysian Horowitz or Richter.

Building on the success of the previous three years of festivals, this present one will up the stakes with the Piano Competition, aimed at raising the bar for young pianists and to provide them with a platform for showing their talent.

The Festival also chalks a milestone for Malaysian new music with the inclusion of a compulsory Malaysian piano work that each Piano Competition semi-finalist must perform as part of his or her programme. It is a big step forward in expanding the scope of the annual festival to embrace an essential component of Malaysia's classical/contemporary music scene, and one that will bring young performers closer to their home composers to foster that much-needed synergy between musician and composer that is the catalyst for a vibrant local music scene.

The organisers have put together a selection of 9 Malaysian composers' works for the competitors to choose from that encompasses a wide range of styles and compositional approaches, including works from two very promising young composers Lee Chie-Tsung and Tzu-En Ngiao.
  • Johan Othman: 4 Etudes for Piano (Compositions For Piano No 3, 4, 6 and 8)
  • CH Loh: Chris Dances
  • Tazul Izan Tajuddin: Torrent of Images - A Memorial
  • Teh Tze Siew: Search
  • Ng Chong Lim: A Distant Voice of the Rain Forest (fragments from 'Rimba')
  • Lee Chie-Tsung: Autumn Steps
  • Tzu-En Ngiao: Inconsequentials
  • Adeline Wong: Alternating Current

The scores can be downloaded from the KLPac website.

The piano competition promises a total cash prize of RM 14,000 for its winners, and is open to Malaysians below the age of 26 (as at 12 July 2008). Closing date for submissions is 4 Apr 2008.

Ng Chong Lim's A Distant Voice (left) and CH Loh's Chris Dances/Illegal Structures (right)

19 Jan 2007
Malaysia's First Anthology Of Contemporary Music Released on 31 January 2008

After a long wait, Malaysia received its first CD anthology of contemporary music by some of the country's most talented modern composers. The 70 minute CD will showcase a selection of compositions, many of them world premieres, recorded by the composers from concerts both at home and abroad.

Many of these works will be heard by Malaysians for the first time. Titled Faith, Hope & Chaos, the CD puts together works by Hardesh Singh, Johan Othman, CH Loh, Ng Chong Lim, Saidah Rastam, Tazul Tajuddin, Adeline Wong and other Malaysian composers. The anthology covers a wide range of styles from experimental, avant garde to minimalist, indian classical, gamelan to contemporary jazz, from concert music to film score to music for theatre and dance. It features various types of ensembles from solo flute to full orchestra, reflecting the diversity and richness of Malaysian music.

Conceived by Hardesh Singh and CH Loh in April 2006, the project began life as a series of collected recordings from various composers that was meant as a celebration of Malaysian music to accompany Merdeka Day 2007, to be circulated free in collaboration with Off The Edge magazine. Funding setbacks however delayed the final production of the CD until the Krishen Jit Astro Fund and HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad came in towards the end of 2007 in support of the project.

Together with additional funding support from individuals within the artistic community namely Gardner & Wife Theatre and Angela Rodrigues, the project finally sees fruition at the end of Januray 08 where it will be distributed with the February 08 issue of Off The Edge.

This website was planned as an online compliment to the CD, but soon grew to become the home for Malaysian Contemporary Music. It is hoped that these initiatives will give Malaysian music that much needed boost, and provide a focus for the growing number of talented composers that have emerged in recent years and who will make themselves known in the coming years.

Apart from educating the Malaysian community as well as providing a lasting record of Malaysian contemporary music, the CD also aims to set in motion more recording projects to have the many wonderful Malaysian compositions made available on CD. The subtitle of the CD anticipates that there will hopefully be a Volume 2, Volume 3 and so on.

This project is a landmark not just for Malaysia but for the region, as recordings of music by contemporary composers have rarely, if ever, been taken on such a scale and scope.

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