Top: Ng Chu Ying, 1st Prize Winner of Suona Open Category performing alongside the Singapore Chinese Orchestra

Bottom: Zeng Can Ran, 1st Prize Winner of Erhu Junior Category performing solo


Singapore, 9 December 2018 – The 11th edition of the biennial National Chinese Music Competition (NCMC) drew to a close tonight with 65 winners and two ensembles taking home the top prizes at the Prize Winner’s Concert & Prize Presentation Ceremony. Organised by the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO), NCMC 2018 attracted close to 230 participants from both Chinese and non-Chinese budding musicians.


2          Celebrating excellence in traditional Chinese music, the highly-regarded competition identifies upcoming talents and raises musical standards in the local traditional Chinese music scene. Winners received their awards from Guest of Honour, Minister for Culture, Community & Youth, Ms Grace Fu, NAC Chairman Professor Chan Heng Chee and the SCO Board Chairman, Mr Ng Siew Quan. Selected finalists performed alongside the celebrated SCO at the SCO Concert Hall (Singapore Conference Hall) led by Resident Conductor Mr Quek Ling Kiong.


3          NCMC 2018 saw a 26% increase from 2016 in participation from the Junior category, signalling promising and sustained interest for the scene ahead. The competition also yielded strong interest from non-Chinese participants that showed growth in the art form across cultures, strengthening our shared heritage in traditional Chinese music. Some of the winners include Eurasian Pipa Player Anne Ying Altorfer-Ong who won third place in the Pipa Junior Category, as well as Indian participants, Rohan Nanduri and Krishiv Pappu who were awarded the Honourable Mention and third place in the Sheng Junior Category respectively, and Parveen Kaur who won first place in the Pipa Youth Category. (Refer to Annex A for full list of winners)


4          This year’s participants were judged by 10 acclaimed music luminaries from China, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. They include:

1.    Ms Chen Chun Yuan (China), Erhu virtuoso and Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music

2.    Mr Du Ru Song (China), acclaimed Dizi performer and Professor at the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music

3.    Ms Qi Yao (China), renowned Guzheng virtuoso and Associate Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music

4.    Ms Chek Yui Hong (Singapore), Ministry of Education, Senior Arts Education Officer for Arts Education Policy and Music Curriculum Development

5.    Mr Dedric Wong De Li (Singapore), Conductor of the Asian Cultural Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Ding Yi Music Company

6.    Mr Ling Hock Siang (Singapore), 2004 Young Artist Award recipient and talented Erhu performer

7.    Mr Ng Seng Hong (Singapore), Music Director and Conductor of the People’s Association Youth Chinese Orchestra

8.    Mr Yeo Siew Wee (Singapore), acclaimed Suona musician and secretary-general of the Singapore Chinese Music Federation

9.       Mr Qu Chun Quan (Singapore, Taiwan), one of Asia’s top Chinese orchestral conductor and composer

10.  Mr Tang Liang Xing, who is now based in the USA, renowned Pipa performer and Professor at the Tainan National University of Arts


To deepen knowledge on the different instruments and musical styles, a seminar attended by more than 70 was held yesterday. The seminar featured the international judges, including Ms Chen Chun Yuan, Mr Du Ru Song, Ms Qi Yao, Mr Qu Chun Quan and Mr Tang Liang Xing. It was well received and participants agreed it was a good way to inspire local musicians and develop capability through exposure to new ideas and processes. (Refer to Annex B for Bios of Adjudicators)


5          Ms Elaine Ng, Senior Director of Sector Development for Performing Arts, NAC said, “My heartiest congratulations to the winners. They have contributed to the excellence and continuous growth of Singapore’s traditional Chinese music scene. We look forward to bringing more communities together to appreciate traditional Chinese music through this platform and would like to recognise the efforts of SCO, our co-organising partner for their contributions.”


6          Mr Terence Ho, Executive Director, SCO, said, “The National Chinese Music Competition serves as a key platform in nurturing the next generation of musicians, which is important for the development of the Chinese music ecosystem. This year’s participants have demonstrated commendable standards, as attested to by our local and international adjudicators, and we are very proud of what they have achieved. Indeed, the SCO looks forward to working with some of these upcoming musicians to nurture our future musical talents.”


7          Ms Chek Yui Hong, adjudicator of the preliminary and final round of the competition, said, “Together with my esteemed international and local colleagues – we were impressed with the standard presented by Singapore’s young musicians. With the many opportunities that they can look forward to in Singapore’s vibrant music scene, we are sure that many will go on to become excellent performers. We applaud both the National Arts Council and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra for their dedication in preserving and sustaining interest in traditional Chinese music through this competition. We also salute the dedication and hard work of the music instructors and teachers, as well as parents in raising up these brilliant young performers.”


8          To download high-resolution images of the highlight at the Prize Winners’ Concert & Prize Presentation Ceremony on the evening of 9 December 2018, kindly go to:


For more information, please refer:

·         Annex A: List of winners

·         Annex B: Biographies of 2018 adjudicators

·         Annex C: Prize categories

·         Annex D: Glossary of Chinese terms