Singaporean composer Dr. HO Chee Kong is Associate Professor 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 Festival, Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Concert (Vietnam), International Bela Bartok Choral Competition (Hungary), International Performing Arts Festival and Asia Choral Days (Japan), Aberdeen Music Festival (Scotland), Singapore Chinese Orchestra Percussion Festival (Singapore), Contemporary Music Showcase (Hong Kong), Asia Music Festival (South Korea), Asian Composers League Conference and Festival (Japan), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Electroacoustic Music Festival (Canada), the International Arts Festivals (Australia, New Zealand), Singapore Arts Festivals, National Day Celebrations and many others.
Recent 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; Garden Veils was commissioned and performed by the Singapore National Youth Orchestra; Together, was written for Victoria Chorale’s 20th Anniversary Concert. 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 celebration in 2004, he performed on the computer 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 devastating tide 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. He presented the Country Report on Singapore Music at the ISCM-ACL World Music Days 2007 in Hong Kong and at the 2009 Asian Contemporary Music Festival in Tongyeong and Seoul. In 2012, he will be presenting a paper titled, Searching the Heart of Nanyang, at the International Reflective Conservatoire Conference at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. 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 arts advisory committees with the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, the National Arts Council and the Ministry of Education. He was music advisor to the award-winning Huqin Quartet and was Composer-in-Residence with the Singapore Philharmonic Chamber Choir. He has served as an 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 held for the first time in Southeast Asia at the National University of Singapore. Previously a member of ASCAP, he is now a member of the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore. He is the founding President of the Composers Society of Singapore, which is a country member of the Asian Composers League. He currently serves as a board member with the Singapore School of the Arts and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.
(by the composer himself)
"Connections" is a reminder of my meeting with Maestro Philip Glass at the Singapore Arts Festival in 2001. He was there with his ensemble to perform to the screening of "Koyaanisqatsi".
It was a wonderful performance and many of us enjoyed it very much.
How this is related to the title of the piece is not of the film and music
but it happened during one of the press interviews with the Maestro of which I was the presenter.
During the interview, the Maestro spoke about his music and between questions from the press,
hummed out some tunes very softly which I heard sitting next to him.
For some reason, a bit of these pentatonic fragments
stuck in my head and that forms the start for this short work for you,
and for me, a re-connection with Maestro Philip Glass.