Music graduates growing in numbers, prominence

We thank Ms Tan Yulin for her letter (Do more to support local Western classical musicians; Oct 15).

While Yong Siew Toh Conservatory's international student body has indeed been and remains an important part of our student community, our Singaporean cohort has actually grown steadily every year over the last 10 years.

We challenge all our students to pursue global excellence, encouraging them to also bring their music beyond the concert hall to spaces and communities across Singapore.

Our graduates are making an impact across a range of fields, including performance, composition and even conducting. One example is Wong Kah Chun, who was highlighted at the recent National Day Rally.

Global impact takes time to resonate but, as in other contemporary fields, Singapore has a distinctive story to tell.

As the industry demands change, the world is recognising that music graduates today and of the future need to have well-rounded capabilities across the spectrum of performing, composition, production and engagement.

We believe it is important for all our musicians, as they evolve their professional and artistic identities, to be comfortable both on the stage and in different musical roles, settings and communities.

This enriches their craft and prepares them to provide impact in any setting - local or international - that they may choose.

In this regard, violinist Siow Lee Chin's comment highlights the need for musicians to be entrepreneurial and flexible as they pursue musical excellence.

We believe that this helps build the local artistic community and sheds new light on the stereotype that Western classical music is exclusively targeted at the top.

Singaporean classical musicians are thriving both locally and internationally, and we are committed to creating pathways for students to achieve their music aspirations to the fullest.

Chan Tze Law (Assoc Prof)

Vice Dean, Professional Integration

Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

National University of Singapore

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