Lim Yau to conduct his cellist son in concert

Lim Yau and his son, Lin Juan (above), have performed together several times.
Lim Yau and his son, Lin Juan (above), have performed together several times.PHOTO: DING YI MUSIC COMPANY
Lim Yau (above) and his son, Lin Juan, have performed together several times.
Lim Yau (above) and his son, Lin Juan, have performed together several times.PHOTO: DING YI MUSIC COMPANY

Cultural Medallion recipient Lim Yau will conduct his son, cellist Lin Juan, in Rites Of Chimes, a seven- movement work by the Chinese composer Zhou Long, at Modern Voices: Rites Of Chimes, an upcoming concert by Chinese music company Ding Yi.

The show will combine classical music from the East and West.

In an e-mail interview with The Straits Times, Lin says: "Zhou's compositional language is Western, but his creative impulses are thoroughly Chinese.

"He masterfully incorporates non-traditional techniques on a Western instrument like the cello into an ensemble of traditional instruments to re-create music of the ancient courts. This fascinates me greatly," adds the 31-year-old, who is also assistant conductor of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra.

For his father, Lim Yau, 64, however, "there is no actual difference between conducting Western and Chinese music. It's the people you conduct that makes the difference."

Father and son have put on several performances together, and with other musically inclined family members as well. Lim's daughter, Veda, 32, is an oboist. His nephew, Lim Yan, 36, is an accomplished pianist.

The Lims' inter-generational show is part of Ding Yi's offerings for the rest of the year.

Earlier this year, it had staged several concerts, bringing in renowned Chinese classical music composers and musicians as guest performers.

In October, the company will have five of its musicians perform in a show titled 5+5=? at the Victoria Concert Hall, with a quintet from Song Hong Chamber Music, a leading chamber music group from Vietnam.

They will be led by the baton of Singaporean conductor Darrell Ang, who was nominated last year for a Grammy Award for best orchestral performance.

Ding Yi's principal guest conductor Quek Ling Kiong, 48, says of him: "Darrell is a Western classical music conductor, with an interest in exploring the modern sounds of a Chinese chamber group. We see it as an exciting experience for both sides and for the audience as well."

Ding Yi will wrap up its season with its yearly inter-disciplinary show in December, titled Of Music And Dance. It will feature Hawaiian Javanese dancer Garrett Kam and Singaporean sand artist Lawrence Koh to re-tell the legend of Sisters' Island through an evening of music, dance and art.

"There will be Javanese mask dancing, and sand, which is an important part of any island, presented in a visual art form to tell the story. The musicians will provide the live music and also be part of the act," says Quek, who is also resident conductor of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.

Ding Yi, which celebrates its 10th birthday next year, is slowly but surely building up an audience here that prefers the intimacy of chamber music.

It has also been invited to perform in Chinese-speaking territories such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Quek adds: "We are engaging our international connections. Singapore is small, so our market is limited. But art is a useful and natural tool to connect people across cultures.

"It's a method of cultural exchange and building up relationships with other nations. Music is an international language and we have our own unique sound to share."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2016, with the headline 'Lim Yau to conduct his cellist son in concert'. Print Edition | Subscribe