Veteran had a grand vision for the music community

Mr Chang Kwai Ming.
Mr Chang Kwai Ming.

Mr Chang Kwai Ming, chairman of the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (Compass) and a veteran of the local arts and music scene, died of cancer on Sunday. He was 78.

He was diagnosed with liver cancer, which spread to his lungs and bones, about three weeks ago, said his son, Mr Chang Yuh Kang.

He collapsed at home on Sunday and died at the hospital that night.

Compass chief executive and director Edmund Lam called Chang Kwai Ming's passing "a great loss to Compass and the whole music community".

"He has steadfastly steered our organisation over the last 24 years, overcoming many challenges along the way.

"It is not an understatement to say that without him, we would not be where we are today. He was an inspiring leader with a grand vision for Compass and the music community.

"He was very earnest in helping individual songwriters, music groups and organisations."

Dr Lam noted that his last project was to set up the Compass Music Talents Development Fund to help nurture the young musicians of various genres.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Mr Chang was the director and general manager for music schools Yamaha Music (Asia) and Yamaha Music (Malaysia), deputy chairman of the National Theatre Trust and served as acting principal at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

A keen observer of arts and culture, he was also a columnist for Chinese newspapers Lianhe Zaobao and Shin Min Daily News.

Up until his death, he was a board member and consultant to ISS International School, and held other positions such as chairman of the Singapore chapter of The Institute of World Chinese Literature.

Besides Mr Chang Yuh Kang, 43, he leaves behind a daughter, 45, and three grandchildren. His late wife, an accountant, died in 2013.

A wake is held at his house at 18D Duku Lane until tomorrow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2017, with the headline 'Veteran had a grand vision for the music community'. Print Edition | Subscribe