THE COMPOSER

"Singaporean Ho Chee Kong's recently premiered Tembusu Evenings is the icing on the cake. It is an evocative five-movement suite imbued with an Asian aroma, distinctive yet subtle, laden with what the composer describes as 'misty memories to last several lifetimes'."
- The Straits Times CD Review, 2009
 
"Ho Chee Kong’s Last Dragonfly Dance was coloured with quasi-Oriental modes, a serene landscape of Peirce Reservoir at dusk where the placid insect’s flight is set against gradually receding light."
- The Straits Times, 2011
HO’s music has been described as “…lush, absorbing…”, “…evocative… imbued with an Asian aroma, distinctive yet subtle”, “…warm, exotically vibrant…”, “… atmospheric and cinematic feel, breathtaking…”,  and “…distinguished by a strong power of the narrative and exotic instrumental colours”.

Singaporean composer Dr. HO Chee Kong is Associate Professor and was one of the founding faculty members and Head of Composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore. His international commissions and works for both Western and Chinese ensembles have been performed at festivals and concerts such as the Singapore Encore (USA), the Singapore Arts Festivals, International Bela Bartok Choral Competition (Hungary), International Performing Arts Festival and Asia Choral Days (Japan), Aberdeen Music Festival (Scotland), 36th Internazionale Festival: Antidogma Festival (Italy), Contemporary Music Showcase (Hong Kong), Asia Music Festival (South Korea), Eleazar de Carvalho Festival (Brazil), Asian Composers League Conference and Festival (Japan), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Electroacoustic Music Festival (Canada), the International Arts Festivals (Australia, New Zealand), National Day Celebrations and many others.

There and Back was commissioned by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra as a double concerto and was performed by violinist Siow Lee Chin and cellist Qin Li Wei. The work was also voted as the Best New Classical Work 2019 by The Straits Times. In celebration of Singapore’s 50th Anniversary in 2015, Empyrean Lights was commissioned by YST as the Conservatory Orchestra took the piece on its Hong Kong and Macau tour. In 2012, the National Arts Council commissioned Passage-Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra for the Singapore Arts Festival 2012. The soloist for the work was Qin Li Wei and was conducted by Maestro Chan Tze Law with the Orchestra of Music Makers. An arrangement of this work for the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Tsung Yeh, was performed at the Asian Composers League Festival and Conference in 2013. Other commissioned works include Tembusu Evenings for solo cello, performed by Qin Li Wei at the inaugural Performers’ Voice International Symposium at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music; Of Passion and Passages, performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in celebration of Keppel Corporation’s 40th Anniversary; Shades of Oil Lamps, commissioned by the National Arts Council and performed by the London Sinfonietta at the Singapore Arts Festival 2008; Perayaan, a commissioned work performed by the Peabody Wind Ensemble in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Peabody Institute. In 2005, in celebration of Singapore’s National Day, he wrote The Way of Play for the Cincinnati Percussion Group and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and for the National Day celebration in 2004, he performed with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in his work, Night of Electric Winds. A choral work, Night, dedicated to the heroic men and women who fought hard to stem the devastation of SARS in 2003, was published in Spice, Magic, and Mystique, as part of a collection of the Southeast Asian Choral Repertoire by Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart.

He has also presented papers at various conferences in the area of music composition studies, and worked on research relating to music in modern society, music and organization, and music in multi-media productions. In 2009, he presented a paper titled, Composition Lessons–A Perspective from Southeast Asia, at the Reflective Conservatoire Conference at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He was an invited speaker at the Convene in Singapore Seminar, organized by the Singapore Exhibition and Conference Bureau, Singapore Tourism Board and the National Arts Council. In 2006, he was an invited Panel Speaker at the Nanyang-Inspired Chinese Orchestral Music Symposium. In 2012, he presented a paper titled, Searching the Heart of Nanyang, at the International Reflective Conservatoire Conference at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. In the same year, at the Performer’s Voice Symposium held in Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, he presented a paper titled, Nanyang Music with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra by Composition Students. Ho’s profile as a composer is also listed in Singapore, The Encyclopedia, a National Heritage Board publication by Editions Didier Millet.



HO serves on various arts advisory committees locally and internationally. He was elected Vice-President and Regional Director for Asia/Oceana on the Board of the International Computer Music Association and was the Artistic Director and Co-organizer for the International Exchange Composers Concerts between Singapore and Japan in 2005 and 2006 respectively. In 2003, he was the organizing Chairman for the 29th International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) held for the first time in Southeast Asia at the National University of Singapore. He is the founding President of the Composers Society of Singapore, which is a country member of the Asian Composers League. HO was elected as the Vice-Chairman of the Asian Composers League Executive Committee in 2012 and was the Chair of the organizing committee for the Asian Composers League Festival and Conference 2013 held in Singapore. He served on the Board of Directors for the Singapore School of the Arts and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and is currently a board member of the Ding Yi Music Company.