I’ve had the utmost privilege of having a musical life since I was four years old, when my mom officially started giving me piano lessons. I studied piano with my mom (Yohana Ang) all the way until I left Indonesia to Singapore for high school, although I also have fond memories of taking music lessons with Dina Corrado at the Jean Lyons School of Music, Vancouver.
When I was nine and living in Bandung, Indonesia, my mom started me on cello lessons with Pak Yose – one of the only cello teachers in the area and luckily, it turned out, one of Indonesia’s pioneering cello pedagogues. When I was eleven, I also started playing music in the church, accompanying my mother’s church choir on piano. Later, I also branched out to popular and jazz piano under the tutelage of Didi Kasman, an Indonesian jazz pianist who once took lessons with Berklee teachers.
My high school in Singapore, ACS (Independent), had a solid music and orchestra program. I had the privilege of being a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra when it was still conducted by the now famed Singaporean conductor Chan Tze Law. I learned the basics of chamber music from this period, including playing one of the solo parts in Vivaldi’s Double Concerto alongside my stand partner Bryant Gozali, who is now a professional cellist. Later I also became a founding member of the Orchestra of the Music Makers, which has since developed into Singapore’s premier volunteer orchestra. My experiences playing with the OMM remain one of my most treasured and formative musical experiences. I even came back to Singapore in 2015 to perform Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand with them – a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
At Amherst College, I developed my skills as a composer, orchestral and chamber musician further, participating in various music courses, lessons, masterclasses, festivals, and camps. Besides serving as principal cellist of the symphony orchestra for four years, I also started studying and playing jazz, participated in chamber groups, gamba ensemble, and participated in the music ministry at the First Baptist Church of Amherst every week. In my senior year, I finished an hour-long music composition for my senior thesis.
Coming to Harvard University to start my PhD in physics, I kept up my music interests by becoming an avid player in the Dudley World Music Ensemble. I later served as music director of the group for two years (2016-18), and am still an active player. I also participate in worship ministries in various church contexts in the Boston and Cambridge area.
Detailed Musical Biography
Various people who’ve had a hand in my musical formation so far.
- Piano teachers: Yohana Ang (Indonesia), Dina Corrado (Vancouver), Didi Kasman (Indonesia), Sylvia Ng (Singapore). Masterclasses: Sam Haywood (UK), Dr. P’ng Tean Hwa (Malaysia).
- Cello teachers: Yose (Indonesia), Guo Hao (Singapore Symphony Orchestra), Boris Kogan (Amherst), Alice Robbins (Five College Early Music Program). Masterclasses: Asep Hidayat (Indonesia).
- Composition teachers: Benjamin Lim Yi, Wong Yoon Foong (Singapore), Eric Sawyer (Amherst College). Masterclasses: Eve Beglarian, Michael Schelle, Kristen Kuster, Jay Batzner, Zae Munn.
- Chamber music teachers: Jenny Kallick, Mark Swanson, Bruce Diehl (Amherst College), Emily Rome, Rebecca Shaw (Harvard University, Mather House Chamber Music Program). Masterclasses: Alexander Quartet, Parker Quartet, Brentano Quartet, Tetzlaff Quartet, David Finckel and Wu Han.
- Orchestra: Chan Tze Law (Singapore) and Mark Swanson (Amherst College) are the two conductors that I’ve had the most experience playing under and interacting with.
- Cellist, Park Street Church Sunday Night Band (2015-18).
- Cellist, pianist, percussionist, vocalist, bassist, Dudley World Music Ensemble (2015-current). Dudley Music Fellow and director of the ensemble, 2016-18.
- Cellist, Mather House Chamber music program (2015-current).
- Gambist, Five College Early Music Program (2015).
- Cellist, Amherst College Jazz Combo Program (2013-15).
- Cellist, Buckley Boys String Quartet (2011-15).
- Cellist and pianist, First Baptist Church of Amherst (2011-15).
- Principal cellist, Amherst College Symphony Orchestra (2011-15).
- Cellist, Orchestra of the Music Makers, Singapore (2008-11, 2015).
- Principal cellist & section leader, ACS (Independent) Philharmonic Orchestra (2007-10). Soloist in Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto, 2008. Head of Logistics (2007-8) and Librarian (2009-10).
Awards, honors, highlights
- Sundquist prize for excellence in music composition and performance, Amherst College (2015)
- Double Concertino for Oboe and Cello performed with James Yang on the oboe and the composer on the cello, accompanied by the Amherst Symphony Orchestra directed by Mark Swanson, May 2015.
- In Pursuit of Feeling, a 7-movement, 55-minute work for 16 players performed at Amherst College, February 2015, as part of a senior honors thesis in music composition. Awarded summa cum laude by the Faculty.
- Respiring Reflections, a string quintet, performed at the Amherst Schubert Project, Amherst College, by members of the Wistaria Quartet and the composer, August 2014.
- Third Degree prize, National Young Artist Category, and Honorary Mention, International Young Artist Category, 2014 Golden Key Festival Piano Composition Competition. Winning composition, Energetic Fixations, performed in August 2014 at Ehrbarsaal, Vienna, Austria.
- Scherzo Sentimentale performed by the Wet Ink Ensemble at the Walden School, June 2014
- Finalist, 2014 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award for The Elements of Resurgence.
- Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in cello performance, 2009.
- Grade 8 (ABRSM) exam in piano performance passed with Merit, 2005.