Ding Yi Music Company


Tay Teow Kiat

Tay Teow Kiat is a pioneer of Chinese orchestral music and often referred to as the founding father of the Singapore Chinese orchestral scene. Largely self-taught at the beginning of his career, Tay was instrumental in the rise of the genre in the Chinese music world. He founded Singapore’s first established Chinese orchestra at the former Radio Television Singapore, which was later known as the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation Chinese Orchestra, and then moved to the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts to become the City Chinese Orchestra. Since then, Tay has taken his various Chinese orchestral groups to acclaimed performances overseas, and also been invited to lead different orchestras in China and Taiwan. In 1993, Tay received the Cultural Medallion for his contributions to music in Singapore.

In 1985, he was invited to be a visiting conductor of the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, making him the first Singaporean to conduct a professional Chinese orchestra in Shanghai. In 1998, he became the first chairman of the Singapore Chinese Music Association.

Always searching to expand his musical knowledge and horizons and better his conducting technique, Tay studied conducting with Professor Cao Peng of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1999. He also enrolled himself at the Beijing Normal University, China in 2005, graduating with a Ph.D. in Chinese music conducting.

Over the years, Tay would receive much recognition for his work in Chinese orchestral music. He received the Pingat Berkebolehan (Efficiency Medal) in 1989 and the Long Service Medal in 1997.

Tay currently continues to pursue orchestra conducting. He is currently chairman of the Singapore Chinese Music Association, music director of the City Chinese Orchestra and emeritus music director of Ding Yi Music Company.